Weymouth’s new dinosaur has been set free after being captured taking a paddle at the beach.
The 20 foot-high Tyrannosaurus Rex was impounded after taking a dip in the sea but kind-hearted council officials have let Tex loose with a free meal.
The metal model was dropped off in Weymouth Bay by Great Dorset Maize Maze owner Paul Swaffield as he bids to have model dinosaurs erected along the coast before the Olympics.
Mr Swaffield drove a tractor and trailer into Weymouth and left Tex 100 metres out to sea but council officials decided the model was a hazard and it was given a police escort to a compound.
Weymouth and Portland Borough Council has since warmed to Tex and Mayor Anne Kenwood fed it some “Dino Snacks” before leading it to safety.
She said: “While we would encourage public art it has to be safe and in the right place. At the water’s edge where children play is not the right place. But we’ve not let him go hungry, we’ve given him a special breakfast of Dino Snacks.”
The model, made by Mowlem Metal Craft in Dorchester from old farming equipment – is now back in the maze.
Mr Swaffield said he had a back-up team at the beach with a 30-tonne winch on standby to make sure nobody was harmed, but has agreed to speak to the council before he does anything like this again.
He is hoping to get funding from the Arts Council and to work with schools to promote the Jurassic Coast with more dinosaurs during the Olympics. Tex will be making an appearance at the Wykefest, the food and beer festival in Weymouth this weekend.
Organisers from Julia’s House have enlisted the dinosaur’s help to promote the event.