Shakopee police are looking for answers after a 4-foot-long gold-colored lion was moved from its spot at the Lions Park splash pad and vandalized last weekend, resulting in $11,000 worth of damage.
Vandals wrecked the resin statue between late Saturday and early Sunday, said Jason Arras, a Shakopee police captain.
"It wasn't just an item that was a look-see, it was an instrumental part of the splash pad," he said. "We're trying to restore the pride in the lion by finding the person or persons who did this."
The lion, which weighs 200 pounds and spouted water from its mouth, had a leg broken off, Arras said. Its absence will close the splash pad for an unknown length of time — a sad result at this time of year, when kids most want to use it, he said.
Matt Mulcahy, Shakopee Lions Club secretary, said the lion is a total loss. It's an expensive specialty item that must now be replaced.
"I would say the first word that comes to mind is disappointment," Mulcahy said.
The splash pad opened in 2019. Greg Stoks, a Shakopee native who works for a company called Landscape Structures, donated the $50,000 splash pad with a hydraulic system he designed.
The Lions Club donated the labor and equipment for the play area, which is accessible to people with disabilities.
"This is even a donated item that was vandalized, to make it even worse," Mulcahy said.
The Shakopee Police Department is offering a $500 reward for information, and the Lions Club is matching that amount.
Erin Adler • 612-673-1781