A DOG WALKER has hit out at vandals who have damaged animal sculptures near a reservoir.

Wilf Tickle spotted that the otter’s face had been chopped away and he was ‘utterly disgusted’ by the damage near the Jack Keys Reservoir in the past few days.

He said: “I just don’t know why someone would do it.

“It looks as if it has been done with an axe or hedge-cutters.

“It makes you wonder what they will do next - will it be an animal or a person and where will it start or where will it end?

“It has happened in the past couple of days and there was a dragonfly near it which has also been damaged.

“Someone has gone to the trouble of making it and producing it and I don’t know about the cost of it.

“It is there for people’s pleasure and brighten our lives.

The 59-year-old posted photos on the to Whitehall Area Darwen Neighbourhood Facebook Group on Wednesday.

He added: “There has been a few break-ins of cars in the area and also some anti-social behaviour.

“There are less police officers then the more anti-social behaviour we are going to have.

“I am from a different generation to these morons as they have no idea of implications on them.

“If it is my kids then I would have told them off but I brought them up so that they would not do anything like this. But there are parents who don’t know what their kids are doing.”

Cllr Julie Slater, who represents the West Pennine ward, was shocked by the news.

She said: “It is disgraceful that money has been raised by the public to fund these sculptures and it takes a lot of time to make them then these stupid idiots do this.

“People want to make the area look nice and to walk and find out about wildlife then these mindless people have damaged it. It is not fair seeing this mindless act of vandalism.”

Environment Agency bosses have removed the dam at the former Jack Key Reservoir as part of a £2.4million ecological site and a pond created to reduce the risk of flooding.

The Lancashire Telegraph contacted Lancashire Police about this incident but they did not come forward by the time of going to press.