Hippo skull, dog skeleton stolen from uni


A hippopotamus skull and a full dog’s skeleton are among the rare animal bones dating back to 1880 stolen from the University of Sydney. 

The bones were stolen from the teaching collection of a museum at the university’s Camperdown campus between Wednesday, November 7 and Thursday, November 8.

Also stolen was a Hawksbill sea turtle skeleton with its shell, and the skeleton of a slow loris, a primate distantly related to a lemur.

A hippopotamus skull and that of a slow loris. Source: NSW Police

The skeletons are original specimens collected by a natural history dealer and taxidermist from 19th century Prague. 

Detective A/Inspector Mark George said the skeletons were from Prague.

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

A dog skeleton stolen the University of Sydney. Source: NSW Police

“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. 

“Three other skeletons were recovered from outside the museum – they 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.” 

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000 or use the online reporting page.

The skeleton of a Hawksbill sea turtle also stolen from the university. Source: NSW Police