Thieves have taken a plywood cut-out zebra and tiger from Harakeke Mountain Bike Park, spoiling bikers' fun and ruining what until now had been a trouble free zone, says the operator.
Frank Rawlinson said the plywood animals which measured 2.4m x 1.2m were stolen some time between 8pm Friday and 8am Saturday. The animals were firmly embedded in the ground and it wasn't the work of kids. "The thieves would have needed a van or a flat deck ute to take them away. This was quite targeted."
Mr Rawlinson says this is the first time any vandalism even littering has occurred at the Kaitoke park.
"When I opened on Saturday morning I noticed a beer bottle on the ground. I thought something was up, this is the first time there's been any litter around."
He said the park was fun for families and was for everybody to enjoy.
"People we talked to out there after the theft were incensed. It's like invading someone's house and stealing things.
"We want them back. They are part of the park and they were expensive - both in terms of materials and the time people put into them."
The theft has been reported to police and the Department of Corrections is looking at CCTV footage for clues, as the park is near Kaitoke Prison.
If anyone knows where the plywood animals are, please contact the police or Mr Rawlinson on 021 944 560.