The battered dinosaur footprint (credit: Parks Victoria)
Vandals have destroyed a dinosaur footprint in the rock at a renowned paleontology site in Australia.
Officials confirmed that the vandalism at the Dinosaur Dreaming site in Bunurong Marine Park, Victoria, earlier this week. The vandals, who have not yet been identified, struck last week, according to a statement released by Parks Victoria.
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Science Alert reports that the three-toed footprint is 115-million-year-old. s of the footprint of the toes were smashed away, ” he said.
The theropod dinosaur footprint before it was destroyed (credit: Parks Victoria)
“Leave a sour taste in the mouth that anyone would deliberately destroy something that has pleasure to so many people over the years,” said Lesley Kool Dinosaur Dreaming, in the statement.
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The theropod footprint was discovered in 2006. After the discovery, experts decided not to remove the footprint, opting instead to let it in the rock for visitors to enjoy. However, paleontologists of the Museum, the Victoria and Monash University made a silicone rubber mold of the footprint.
The damaged dinosaur footprint (credit: Parks Victoria)
“The thrill of seeing a real dinosaur footprint has been reduced by the callous act of vandalism,” said Bunurong Environment Centre Education Officer Mike Cleeland, in the statement. “Fortunately, I was able to pick up some of the broken pieces of the footprint and, hopefully, the technicians of the Museum of Victoria may be able to restore the footprint to some extent.”
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Parks Victoria is investigating the incident.
Earlier this year, vandals beheaded three model dinosaurs at the australian National Dinosaur Museum in Canberra.
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