Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Stolen Southampton zebra sculpture found in garden

Gilbert on the back of a recovery lorry outside Southampton Police Station Image copyright Hampshire Constabulary
Image caption Police said "Gilbert" was found in a back garden in Shirley

A life-sized zebra sculpture that was stolen from Southampton has been found and reunited with the wildlife charity that owns it.

Marwell Wildlife's multi-coloured zebra, known as "Gilbert", was taken from the back of a truck in the Bassett area of the city on Wednesday.

Police said it was found in a back garden in Shirley.

It is due to form part of an art trail in the city with 149 other zebras from 16 July.

Image copyright Marwell Wildlife
Image caption Gilbert has been used as a mascot at road shows across Hampshire ahead of the sculpture trail which begins in Southampton on 16 July

Hampshire Constabulary, which had been investigating the theft of the fibre glass zebra, said inquiries were ongoing to establish how it came to be in Shirley, but no arrests had been made.

A post on Marwell Wildlife's Zany Zebras Facebook page said: "Gilbert is home and dry!"

It added: "We are so grateful to everyone for their support and everyone who called with sightings, and want to thank Redbridge Neighbourhood Beat for reuniting him with us."

The trail sculptures, many of which are currently in storage or being painted, will be auctioned in October, with funds raised going to the charity.

A similar sculpture trail and auction, run by the charity in 2013 and involving 36 rhinos, raised £124,700.

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