Thieves steal 'extremely heavy' hippo sculpture in Kent

Police are searching for an "extremely heavy" bronze hippopotamus which has been stolen in Kent.

People are being asked to "keep their eyes open" for the two-metre-long sculpture, which was taken from garden statue business Chilstone, near Tunbridge Wells.

It weighs almost three quarters of a tonne so anyone taking it would have needed a "large vehicle such as a flatbed truck", PC Nick Lingham from Kent Police said.

They may also have needed to lift it by "mechanical means", he added.

In the past, it has taken five people to move the ornamental beast.

The theft happened some time between 5.30pm on Wednesday and 7am on Thursday.

PC Lingham said the " hugely distinctive object" would not be easy to sell as scrap or to a collector.

"The hippo is extremely heavy," he said.

"Because of its sheer size we are hoping people may have seen it being transported, and also asking members of the public to keep their eyes open and report anything suspicious."