Thieves targeting tiger statues for their tongues - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Thieves targeting tiger statues for their tongues

(WMC-TV) - Someone has the University of Memphis Tigers' tongues, but that's not keeping students and staff from talking about the thefts.

"Grow up," that's the advice University of Memphis student Jaqueline Skoog would give to whoever is responsible for lifting the tongues from the ceramic tiger statues around campus.

"I couldn't believe it," said student Adam Ahmad. "I mean, who would steal a tongue off the tiger?"

The tigers were donated and placed around Memphis as part of the centennial "Tigers Around Town" celebration.

Alumni Association President Allie Prescott says they were purchased at a pretty penny.

"We sold 100 of them at $5,000 a piece," she said.

University of Memphis officials say they're unsure if they will replace the tongues since they continue to disappear.

"We're going to have some artists go look and do all we can to make the tigers look brand new again," said Prescott.

The tigers were decorated by students and local artists.

The alumni association says they're thankfully the statues have not been further defaced, but if this was supposed to be a prank, they don't find it to be a laughing matter.

"Maybe they think it's funny, but it's certainly not funny… I mean it's borderline disgusting to me that anyone would do that," said Prescott.

University of Memphis police say they have not received any official reports about the thefts, but whoever is responsible could face charges of vandalism and theft.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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