Ipswich: Horn Again as Rosie gets a falsie!

IPSWICH: You know how it is for ladies of a certain age...you might lose your best features and need a bit of cosmetic work to make you look your best again.

That’s what’s happened to one of the best known figures in Ipswich – and now Rosie the Rhino, whose horn was stolen last year, is back to her best complete with a new addition.

But rhino-horn rustlers beware! This isn’t the real thing, however smart it looks...it’s made out of glass fibre and will be no use in any medicines.

The town was stunned when thieves broke into the museum during the early hours of July 28 last year and stole Rosie’s horn.

It was one of about 20 raids at museums and auction houses across the UK and Europe last year targeting rhino horns – used in Far Eastern-based medicinal products.

Police linked the theft with several other incidents and the investigation was taken over by the Metropolitan Police wildlife crime section.

There have been arrests for some of the raids – but not the Ipswich theft and there has been no sign of Rosie’s horn or of a rhino skull which was stolen in the same theft.

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But now a replica horn has been made for Rosie and was fitted yesterday – restoring her appearance as a star exhibit at the Ipswich Museum.

It was made and fitted by experts from London who worked with museum official Bob Entwistle.

Bryony Rudkin, councillor with responsibility for culture, was delighted by the new horn. She said: “We all think it is fantastic. You can’t see where it starts, it looks so real.

“We will have to leave this notice here and a sign to make sure people know it’s a replica. There’s no way of telling just by looking.

“The loss of Rosie’s horn last year was a huge blow to the museum and visitors were really shocked by what happened – they’ll be glad to see her looking back at her best.”

The new horn was made by the team that restored Rosie back in 1988 when the Natural History Gallery at the museum was created.

There is a large sign warning would-be robbers that it would be pointless stealing the replica horn – although in fact the replica might do anyone who ate it less harm than the actual horn, which is believed to have been preserved in arsenic by the Victorians who originally stuffed Rosie.

n Are you glad to see Rosie with a new horn? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters @archant.co.uk