The wild Wyle Cop: Security guard hired to protect Shrewsbury animal sculptures

A security guard has been drafted in to protect life-size animal models from being targeted by late-night revellers. The animals in Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury, have been such a hit with some that the guard has been brought in to protect them in case people on a night out get over-excited. The group of life-size fibreglass animals have been stationed on the street to encourage visitors during ongoing roadworks and to celebrate the town's Charles Darwin commemorations - The DarwIN Festival.

And while many of the town's residents and people visiting for a day out have taken time to have a snap taken with the animals, it has emerged that interest from those on a night out has led Shrewsbury's Business Improvement District (BID) to introduce a late-night 'zoo keeper'.

The animals are in place throughout roadworks on the Cop

A spokesman for the BID said they had arranged for a 'night-time ambassador' to keep an eye on the animals to make sure things do not get too wild. It is understood that the ambassador has been watching the creatures on Saturday night through to around 3am on Sunday. The move came after comments from someone living in the street.

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The wild Wyle Cop: Security guard hired to protect Shrewsbury animal sculptures Six animals have been installed on the hill

The spokesman said: "Following feedback from a resident, we extended the role of our BID night time ambassadors to include Wyle Cop during the two week installation - to ensure everyone is safely enjoying the experience, and to keep any additional noise to a minimum."

The menagerie of creatures on the Cop ranges from a life-size bear to a baby elephant.

Advertising A total of six life-sized fibreglass animals - including a gorilla, a lion, a zebra and a hippo - were introduced to the closed section of cop earlier this month. As part of the event a vacant shop front has also been transformed into a rainforest, complete with parrots and monkeys, providing entertainment for children which ties in with free activity booklets available from shops along the road.

Speaking about the introduction of the animals, Seb Slater, executive director of Shrewsbury BID, said: "A part road closure presented an opportunity to do something fun and high impact over the half term break that wouldn't normally be possible.

"We hope it will attract more people to the town and to visit the UK's longest row of uninterrupted independent businesses on Wyle Cop, as well as enjoy one of the many other events being run by our partners as part of the DarwIN Shrewsbury Festival."

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