Winnipeg police are on the lookout for Bruce the Mosasaur, a marine reptile mascot that was believed to have been stolen almost a month ago.
The costume belonging to Bruce, the mascot of the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre, went missing from The Forks in Winnipeg sometime between June 8 and June 9.
Staff with the fossil discovery centre, based in Morden, Man., were at The Forks that weekend for the Winnipeg International Children's Festival when the mascot costume was somehow taken out of a bag.
"Being that Bruce accompanies all of the public functions we serve in southern Manitoba, such as parades and events, it's a bit of a blow," Trevor Fehr, who works at the centre, told CBC News.
City police issued a news release about Bruce's disappearance on Friday afternoon, describing it as a break-in.
Police also released a photograph of the mascot costume, which is blue and grey and includes a jersey that says "Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre" on the front and the number 74 on the back.
They are asking anyone with information about the costume's whereabouts to call investigators at (204) 986-6668 or Crime Stoppers at (204) 786-TIPS (8477).
'We think that somebody with a sense of adventure and sticky fingers probably found it.'—Trevor Fehr
The Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre houses the largest collection of marine reptile fossils in Canada, including mosasaurs.
Mosasaurs were air-breathing, scaly skinned, flesh-eating lizards that swam in an inland sea during the Cretaceous Period, between 65 million and 135 million years ago, according to centre officials.
Bruce the mascot is the fossil centre's kid-friendly version of a 13-metre-long mosasaur fossil specimen — also named Bruce — that was unearthed near Thornhill, Man., in 1974.
Fehr said no one knows who would want to steal their mascot.
"It's hard to know exactly what happened. We think that somebody with a sense of adventure and sticky fingers probably found it," he said.
Fehr said he's hopes the costume will be found before Bruce's "birthday," which takes place at the end of this month.