'Idiot' vandals behead dinosaurs in Australia museum

Image source, AFP/Getty Images
Image caption, The beheaded velociraptors are now in a museum workshop

Australian police are on the hunt for vandals who hacked off and stole the heads of three dinosaur statues from a Canberra museum.

The suspects climbed over a fence to access the velociraptors, which were part of an outdoor display.

They then beheaded the fibreglass dinosaurs with a handheld grinder or hacksaw, said local police.

Authorities are appealing for information on the vandals, whom they have branded "idiots".

Police spokesman Rod Anderson told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the theft was "a pretty stupid act", and that the perpetrators may have wanted to keep the heads as trophies.

"We're expecting these perpetrators, because they're obviously not very smart, will tell people about it... We want people to give us information identifying who these idiots are," he was quoted as saying.

The incident took place at the National Museum of Dinosaurs on Saturday night and was only reportedly discovered the next morning by visitors.

Museum supervisor Mitchell Seymour told The Canberra Times that children "had been asking their parents: 'Mum and Dad, what's happened to the dinosaurs?'".

The museum appears to be a frequent target. In March 2013, a dinosaur was stolen in an apparent birthday prank and found in a local man's home.

Months later three other dinosaurs were found vandalised at the museum. The next year, another dinosaur was stolen and later found damaged in a nearby park.

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