U-Md. bronze mascot set on fire

December 18, 2013

Usually rubbing the bronze statue of the University of Maryland’s mascot, a diamondback terrapin, is considered good luck, especially at final exams. Or some bring the Testudo, as it is known, gifts — books, candles, cigarettes, food, charm bracelets, alcohol.

But the statue, which sits in front of McKeldin Library, was found set on fire early Wednesday morning. A student police aide reported the fire, and along with a library staff member put it out before police arrived. University President Wallace D. Loh said on Twitter that the statue is not damaged.

News that Testudo had been set on fire created a firestorm of sorts on social media with many condemning the incident, and others calling for a full-scale investigation to find the perpetrator(s).

Here is what one of the remarks said:

Police at the campus said they found that offerings left to Testudo — notes and books — were set on fire on top of the statue.

 

 

Dana Hedgpeth is the Washington Post’s lead reporter in covering the Metro rail and bus systems in the D.C. region and the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) that runs them.
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Tom Jackman · December 18, 2013