Home / Conservation / Vandals strike Paleotherium


Vandals have struck the statues in Crystal Palace Park. This time they’ve pulled off the head from one of the Paleotherium statues and threw it into the lake.

(There are two Paleotherium statues on Teritary Island. Most people say they look like tapirs. More on Paleotherium via Wikipedia.)

Compare the 2005 and 2011 photographs with those taken 13 August 2015.

Paleotherium 2011 Paleotherium 2005 Paleotherium head from 2015 damage Paleotherium body from 2015 damage

Fortunately, our chair – Dr Ellinor Michel – noticed the damage on a walk through the park today. She happened to walking with an official from London Borough of Bromley, amoung other people, discussing a new interpretation scheme. The official immediately reported this to the parks department, who will be investigating. Ellinor also immediately phoned one of the DinoDoctors – Liesa Brierley – chief conservator for the Friends – who came round immediately to review the situation. Liesa fished the head from the lake, and she will return it to park officials.

Yes, this is a sad event. However, there is a bright side. Fortunately, in recent years vandalism has been relatively infrequent around the statues. Also, Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs and LBBromley officials are working closely on conservation and interpretation issues. We’re on site, and we know what to do.

Another good example of this co-operation is that Friends were told today that Bromley is keen to ensure the dinosaur islands are better maintained. The Parks Department will be making a visit relatively soon for another clear up.

You can help, too.

If you notice vandalism, or see people wandering in closed areas of the dinosaur islands, you can help:

  • phone Ward Security, responsible for patroling the park, 0845 872 1330
  • email photos to info@Ward-security.co.uk
  • Dangerous situations requiring police response should be reported via 999
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