In the Spring of 2009 the campus of the University of North Carolina in Wilmington became the home of the world’s largest seahawk. Sculpted out of copper by a local artist, it has a wingspan of 20 feet and weighs a ton (A real seahawk has a wingspan of six feet and weighs about four pounds).
End of story, right? A giant seahawk, left in dignity to join the many other giant bird photo ops scattered across the U.S.
It has not been the case. The campus newspaper Seahawk reports that, in less than a year, the statue has become “a mechanical bull” to some students, who defile the big bird “and proceed to post the pictures to their Facebook accounts” (the story includes a photo).
The Seahawk speculates that statue-straddlers might “believe the seahawk represents, as one friend told me, the dragon-bird of the movie Avatar,” or any other film where characters ride giant flying creatures. But haven’t these cinema buffs ever heard stories of disrespected statues that come to life and kill? (We have.) Best not to stir the anger of a monster-size bird with a razor-sharp beak. When the first hooligan disappears and human innards are strewn across the Quad, this fad will quickly end…
…leaving bronco-busting to the monsters that enjoy it, like this fish.
Take I-40 south until it ends in Wilmington. Continue on US 117/N. College Rd for three miles. Turn left onto Randall Drive and enter the University of North Carolina campus, then take the first right onto Wagner Rd. The statue will be straight ahead, in the middle of a traffic circle.
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