Belatedly, the city manager's office in Albany, South Georgia USA placed a video surveillance camera on an excavation site to better protect it. Last week, looters stole part of a 30 million year old whale fossil being excavated by Georgia Southern University geology students from limestone here on the banks of the Flint River. The looters left behind rubble showing that they had used a large industrial saw to remove a large section of the fossil's backbone.
The rock removed weighed hundreds of pounds in a very remote location, so it was not an easy theft. "It was somebody who thought it out. It wasn't just a group of people that said hey let's go get the bones. I mean I'm heartsick," said Lori Farkas, Save The Whale Organizer. Georgia Southern University's Dr. Kathlyn Smith said "It was a beautiful specimen with excellent scientific value. I am keeping my eye on ebay and other online auction sites to see if they show up, but I think we're out of luck." [...] Georgia Southern geologists and Albany experts are working to preserve the remainder of the whale fossil, and excavate it before more looters ruin it totally. The Department of Natural Resources law enforcement and possibly the GBI will be investigating the looting, which is a felony.Source: Jim Wallace, 'Who took whale bone fossil?', WALB November 4, 2012