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(Marcus Nesemann/River News)The Hodag statue which welcomes people to the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce was vandalized last week, with the vandal making off with one of the monster’s toes. The Rhinelander Police Department is investigating.
(Marcus Nesemann/River News)

The Hodag statue which welcomes people to the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce was vandalized last week, with the vandal making off with one of the monster’s toes. The Rhinelander Police Department is investigating.
9/1/2012 7:30:00 AM
Chamber's Hodag statue loses claw to thief
Local mascot gets unwanted pedicure

Marcus Nesemann
Reporter/Photographer


The Hodag statue at the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce has been vandalized.

According to Lara Reed, executive director of the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce, one of the monster's claws has been stolen.

The claw is believed to have been taken sometime during the evening hours of Aug. 24.

"He got a claw stolen, we are assuming, (last) Friday night. Somebody broke it off," Reed said.

Reed was the first person to notice the evidence of the toe heist when she came to work on Saturday, Aug. 25.

"I am the one that worked Saturday morning and when I got to the office, it was probably a little before 10 a.m., somebody came in and wanted me to take their picture and I noticed that it had been broken off," Reed said before adding that another claw was damaged in the mascot attack.

Reed immediately contacted the Rhinelander Police Department and officers are investigating the matter.

"I've filed a report with the police and everything and I put a call in, we're on the list to get it fixed," Reed said. "Obviously, in my opinion, it's vandalism, so I reported that to the police and they came out on Saturday and did an investigation."

Reed said she knows it may not be possible to track down the thief but she's hoping the police can find the perpetrator so she can let him or her know exactly what she thinks of their prank.

"I don't know who thought that would be a funny trick but it's not so funny," Reed said. "I would love to find out who did it. There's probably a slim chance of that happening, but I would love to find out who thought they needed to steal his claw."

While the Hodag waits for the statue doctor, an orange emergency cone has been placed over the damaged portion of the beast's foot to protect visitors from hurting themselves on the sharp edges left behind.

Reed added there's no history of vandalism involving the Hodag statue and the chamber is treating this matter as an isolated incident.

Marcus Nesemann may be reached at marcus@rivernewsonline.com.



Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, September 9, 2012
Article comment by: Doug Strid

Frances,

You're silly and overdone. Go back to bed.


Posted: Saturday, September 8, 2012
Article comment by: Tony Arten

Hey Bob, I'm not from Antigo, but maybe there they teach people how to identify a quote. You know, when something is identified using those little "quotation" thingies. You might then know I didn't call it a "thing" (there's those troublesome punctuation marks again!)

Posted: Saturday, September 8, 2012
Article comment by: Frances Thomas

Yes, it's the town/school mascot. It's also silly and overdone. Vandalism wasn't cool, though.

Posted: Friday, September 7, 2012
Article comment by: Bob Smith

Hey Arten and Cooper go back to Antigo. If you were from this town you wouldn't call it a "thing". It's our town/school mascot.

Posted: Friday, September 7, 2012
Article comment by: Don Myers

I say put a band-aid and some mecuricome on the injury and consider it a badge of honor for this heroic icon.

Posted: Thursday, September 6, 2012
Article comment by: Frances Thomas

No history of vandalism? I can think of at least one other "claw theft."

Posted: Thursday, September 6, 2012
Article comment by: Tony Arten

"How many times have we, the taxpayers, paid to fix this thing?"

"Reed added there's no history of vandalism involving the Hodag statue and the chamber is treating this matter as an isolated incident."

Seems there's no dog in that hunt. But I guess we need to yell about taxes at every turn now.....


Posted: Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Article comment by: Erin Skinner

Hi all! I'm the President of the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce and just wanted to let Mr. Cooper know that the taxpayers are not responsible for the repair to the Hodag. The Chamber has a couple of options in a situation like this. We do have insurance on the statue, so we could make a claim for damage such as this. The amount is so small, however, that we have chosen our other option — to pay for the repair work out of our maintenance budget. We have discussed placing a video camera near the Hodag and may look into this further, but there is also cost involved in this, likely much more than the few hundred dollars it will cost to repair our poor Hodag's toe. If you ever have any questions, please feel free to contact the Chamber anytime! Take care!

Posted: Monday, September 3, 2012
Article comment by: Joe Peter

Some people are sick. I can't believe that someone would damage such an icon.

Posted: Saturday, September 1, 2012
Article comment by: MItch Cooper

Would somebody please point a video camera at this thing? This (breaking off parts) possibility was brought up when they decided to make it out of fiberglass. The foolish mayor (not the current mayor) said, "Nobody would try that." How many times have we, the taxpayers, paid to fix this thing? Room tax is a tax.



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