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It's hard to believe, but vandals in Bolton, England have targeted the town's prized collection of multi-colored fiberglass elephants. The decorative pachyderm, named Ellie, Elner and Mr. Jackbow, recently fell victim to a series of attacks resulting in a fractured trunk, and cracks to the head and body. The elephant statues were installed in March, replacing the original grey herd that was commissioned in the 1980s. The new elephants were designed by local school children, but only three days after installation, they were removed because of vandalism and attempted theft. In August, the vibrant herd will return to its rightful home on Newborn Street, coinciding with the town's new video surveillance installation.
While plans were already in place to add security cameras to that part of town, the installation of the video surveillance network was pushed forward in order to protect the elephants upon their triumphant return. Besides watching over the esteemed herd, the cameras will also provide added security to an area where over 190 offences were reported in the past year. The surveillance system includes a six-meter tall CCTV column in the town center, along with two additional fixed cameras and a swivel camera.
History buffs should note that the elephant is a long-time symbol of Bolton, believed to mark the town's cotton links with the Far East.