Here’s what we know: Some three quarters of all plant and animal life on our planet—including all non-avian dinosaurs—were wiped out during a mass-extinction event about 66 million years ago.
Earlier this summer, the seaside resort of Exmouth, in East Devon, England, debuted a “dinosaur safari” trail, decorated with models of dinosaurs large and small. But the “Exmouth Dinosaur Lark,” as it is fondly known, has unfortunately been subject to vandalism since it opened. On September 8, East Devon 24 reported that a baby Tyrannosaurus rex had been decapitated for a second time, following previous incidents in which baby triceratops and stegosaurus were also damaged.
On Wednesday, insult was added to injury when photographs circulated on social media of a woman hiking up her dress and straddling the decapitated T. rex. From the Daily Star:
Shocked parents who take their children on the popular trail in Exmouth, Devon, said they were “disgusted” by the explicit image.
One parent, who did not want to be named, said: “I worry as children play with these dinosaurs, I was disgusted.
“I feel sick to think that children are anywhere near that.”
Organiser of the Exmouth Dino Trail, John Thorogood, said: “I saw the image on social media and was completely disgusted by it.
“Whilst we have had some deliberate damage to the dinosaurs in past weeks, this episode brings things to an all time low as far as these important and very popular assets to our town are concerned.”
“We are shocked and dismayed at this appalling act of gross indecency to one of the dinosaur models in the dinosaur trail,” an East Devon District Council spokeswoman told East Devon 24. “We have instructed our StreetScene team to clean the dinosaur thoroughly, using a strong disinfectant.” Police have confirmed that they are investigating the incident.
The trail was intended to position Exmouth as the gateway to the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site, which stretches across England’s southern coast. “The Jurassic Coast Team has contributed much to this super project, including detailing the story of the Jurassic Coast and fossil finds as you follow the trail,” Exmouth Town Council town management project officer Suzanne Birkett said this summer. “Not all the dinosaurs on our trail have been found locally of course. Some are global superstars, which we have added just for fun!”
People sure do love dinosaurs.