The owners of a three metre long dinosaur statue stolen from Canberra's National Dinosaur Museum have offered a $500 reward for its return.
Police say there have been no confirmed sightings of the missing Utahraptor, despite one claim it had been dumped near the sewage treatment works.
The fibreglass Utahraptor statue was stolen from the Gold Creek Road, Nicholls attraction some time between 5.30pm on Thursday and 9am on Friday.
Museum education manager Phil Hore said there had been a number of tip-offs from members of the public since the theft.
“We have had a lot of phone calls, including some this morning,” he said. “One woman thought she saw it at a flower show in Melbourne but it was another statue with one of our directors.”
“There have been one or two more substantial tips and the police are following those up.”
A Facebook page devoted to Canberra gossip includes today an entry claiming to be from one of thieves, who suggests the statue was stolen with a ute and thrown off a suburban lookout site.
An ACT Policing spokesperson said one patrol unit checked Shepherds Lookout, near Holt, but it wasn't there.
Other social media sites have joined in the prehistoric pursuit, with one parody from the Canberra Memes page shared by more than 270 people on Facebook.
Mr Hore said the reward would be offered to anyone with accurate information that lead to the return of the statue.
“It's not like it's a garden gnome or something. It will be hard to hide and does look like a very big dinosaur,” he said.
Investigators said the missing statue is 1.6 metres tall and 3 metres long, brown in colour with dark stripes.
They ask anyone who knows where the statue is or anyone who saw it being taken to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or at www.act.crimestoppers.com.au.
Mr Hore said the theft came as the privately-owned museum was preparing to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
The museum was also attacked in mid-2012, when vandals damaged a Tyrannosaurus Rex head and removed its silicon teeth.
The attack came just three months after it was installed as part of a $150,000 refurbishment. The statue, which was stolen during preparations for the museum’s 20th anniversary,
was imported from overseas with a pricetag of more than $2500.