Thieves steal rare and valuable animal skeletons dating back to 1880 from Sydney University

Specimens were collected by natural history dealer and taxidermist from Prague

Samuel Osborne
Friday 16 November 2018 17:16
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A 'full hippopotamus skull' and several other specimens are missing
A 'full hippopotamus skull' and several other specimens are missing

Several “rare and valuable” animal skeletons dating back to 1880 have been stolen from the University of Sydney.

Police are investigating after a “full hippopotamus skull” and several other specimens went missing from the university’s Camperdown campus.

The robbery is believed to have taken place between Wednesday night and Thursday morning last week.

The skeleton of a Hawksbill sea turtle and its shell were stolen from the university’s Camperdown campus

In addition to the hippopotamus skull, the skeleton of a Hawksbill sea turtle and its shell were taken, along with the skeleton of a slow loris and a “full dog”.

The skeletons were original specimens collected by a natural history dealer and taxidermist from Prague, said the acting crime manager from Sydney’s inner west police area command, Mark George.

The stolen slow loris skeleton 

“We have released images of the stolen skeletons, which are rare and valuable,” he added.

“We hope the community can provide us with some fresh information that helps us recover the skeletons, and return them to the museum which is involved in the teaching of undergraduate students.”

A “full dog” skeleton was also taken

He said the police recovered three other skeletons from outside the museum, which “appear to have been left behind by the offenders after the break in, along with other items that are being forensically examined by specialist police”.

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