THE statue of a bronze stag was stolen from the entrance roundabout at The Horder Centre in Crowborough.

The specially designed sculpture had become the mascot of the centre and was much loved by both patients and staff.

The disappearance of the stag, that has stood on a plinth near the entrance to the orthopaedic hospital in St John’s Road, since 2011, is being investigated by police.

The stag, originally bought from a local antiques company, was fixed down and although thieves managed to remove it at the weekend, part of the statue’s leg was left in place.

It is run by charity Horder Healthcare.