The Canal & River Trust is appealing to people living in Wolverhampton for information after the public art sculpture, part of a series along the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal, was vandalised and almost sawn in half.
The wooden hand-crafted sculpture, which forms part of the walking trail for the Great Canal Orchard, have been created by local artist Robot and feature different animals, some of which can be found living along the canals.
Wolfie, so called as it depicts a wolf, has been in place for a few months and is one of the first of 50 ‘mile marker’ posts which are planned to mark each mile of the Great Canal Orchard.
Wolfie is made from timber from a tree that needed to be removed from along the canal and is designed to provide home for bees, beetles, and fungi.
The Great Canal Orchard is an ambitious project to create a community orchard which provides free fruit to local people, boaters, and visitors to the canals in Wolverhampton, through to Birmingham and out to Worcester.
Paul Wilkinson, senior ecologist at Canal & River Trust, said: “It’s really disappointing to see our public art vandalised in this way.
"Wolfie is one of the first sculptures we’ve introduced along the canal, and someone has come along and tried to remove the head from the plinth.
"We don’t know if they wanted to steal the sculpture or if they were just trying to destroy it, but either way we’re upset about this.
“As a health and wellbeing charity we like to create interesting and fun things for visitors and boaters to see along our canals, so it’s a real shame that someone has decided to ruin this for everyone.
"Luckily, the sculpture is repairable, but it is an additional cost we now need to cover.
"The plan is to make the sculpture more secure to prevent anything like this happening again.
"If anyone has any information about this vandalism, please contact us on 03030 404040."
For more information on the work of the Canal & River Trust, go to canalrivertrust.org.uk