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Chainsaw artist Joel Palmer is pleading for the return of a wooden sculpture of a moose that was stolen from his display at the New Brunswick Exhibition. (Courtesy Joel Palmer)

A chainsaw artist at the New Brunswick Exhibition in Fredericton is appealing for the return of one of his sculptures.

Joel Palmer, who is also known as "Swamp Bear," says someone stole his wooden carving of a moose from his display area at the annual exhibition overnight on Sept. 1.

"Oh man, I'm devastated," said Palmer. "I mean we put a lot of work into what we do here as artists.

"All of us are doing our best to put on a good show here for the community and for everybody. It's sad that someone thinks it's all fun and games to go steal something like that."

The bull moose sculpture is about four feet high and four feet wide (1.2 m x 1.2 m) with detachable antlers.

"If you put it out in a field, somebody probably, definitely would want to shoot it," said Palmer. "It looks as realistic as it gets as far as chainsaw carving."

Palmer said the moose sculpture is worth $1,000. It was one of several sculptures he is offering for sale at the exhibition, where he is doing chainsaw carving on site.

Exhibition organizers are still investigating.

Executive director Mike Vokey said changes to security have been made since the overnight theft earlier in the week.

Vokey says guards are now doing more random checks of the grounds.

Officials are also discussing installing cameras next year.

Fredericton Police have received formal notification of the theft and a spokesperson says an investigation is ongoing.