A 300-pound, cast-bronze statue of the Lorax, a character from a book by the late La Jolla children’s author Theodor Seuss Geisel chronicling the plight of the environment valued at $10,000, was stolen from the La Jolla property of his widow, Audrey Geisel, over the weekend.
The garden statue with its stump inscribed with “Unless,” was discovered missing Monday, March 26 by the estate’s property manager, who said he saw footprints in the garden.
Thieves apparently rolled the statue on its stump down a hill lifting it over a chain-link fence and into a getaway vehicle, according to the San Diego police.
Judy Piercey, a UC San Diego spokeswoman, said the Lorax was one of two statues created by Audrey Geisel’s sculptor daughter, Lark Grey Dimond-Cates. The other, dedicated in 2002, is in Dr. Seuss National Memorial Park in Massachusetts.
There is also a bronze statue featuring Dr. Seuss with his The Cat in the Hat character located in front of the Geisel library on UCSD’s campus.
The Geisel home reportedly did not have security cameras, so there was no surveillance footage of the statue’s theft.
First published in 1971, the Lorax, speaking on behalf of trees, is a fable about the danger corporate greed poses to nature. In the story, the Lorax warns a boy there will be no more trees on the planet “unless” someone like him plants the last remaining seed.
Theodor Geisel lived in the La Jolla home until his death in September 1991 at age 87.
A movie of the same name based on the children’s story opened on March 2, Geisel’s birthday.