Garden ornament theft goes viral and leads to hippo replacement
1st February 2019
FOLLOWING the theft of a bronze hippo weighing three-quarters of a tonne, a Tunbridge Wells garden ornament centre has been sent a soft toy replacement, all the way from California.
‘Harry’ the Hippo made international headlines two weeks ago, following the news that the bronze sculpture was stolen.
The giant cast ornament, named after Prince Harry, was stolen from Chilstone in Langton Green with police believing thieves had used a flatbed bed, and most likely some sort of winching device to make off with the hippo.
The story quickly went viral, leading to a three feet tall cuddly hippo being sent from California website MyHippo.com.
General Manger from the garden ornament centre, Steve Clark said: “It's gone viral, which is great because it makes the hippo very hot property.
“People have been stopping me in the street and asking me if I've found my hippo yet, it's bizarre.
“It has upset all of our staff and he has been part of the family for a long time, kids loved him.”
He said the gift would be donated Pembury Hospital’s children’s ward.
“I am pleased that this unexpected gift can be passed on to local children so that some positivity can come from this appalling theft from our show gardens,” added Mr Clark.
Last night [Tuesday] there was still no sign of the missing hippo.