Tourist attraction Lion Rock destroyed
Lion Rock, one of Bermuda’s famous natural monuments and a noted tourist attraction appears to have been destroyed.
“It’s a great loss for Bermuda, and a personal loss,” said Wendell Hollis, who spent his early years at the property by Harrington Sound, where the rock formerly stood by the shoreline.
Mr Hollis said he was “shocked” during a weekend excursion to find the sphinxlike landmark missing its head.
“It has definitely been cut off by somebody,” he said. “It has also had a piece chiselled off its hindquarters.”
For Mr Hollis, the loss was “Bermuda’s version of Cecil the lion, in that it was destroyed unnecessarily and is something that can’t be replaced”.
Cecil was a popular inhabitant of a Zimbabwe national park, whose killing in 2015 by an American big game hunter made worldwide headlines.
But Bermuda’s resident lion was a far older specimen that, like Cathedral Rocks in Elys Harbour or the now fallen Natural Arches, acquired its name from naturally occurring features.
Mr Hollis said: “Some of the pictures go back more than 100 years. It was on vintage postcards and it featured in all the old photographic books.
“Lion Rock, when people lived a more quiet lifestyle, was a place where people would stop and take pictures when the horse and buggies were coming along Harrington Sound Road.”
For more than 90 years, the property was in the Hollis name, and the rock’s waterside perch near Patton’s Point was a family swimming hole.
The destruction of the rock was spotted by Mr Hollis on Sunday, and marks the end of “one of Bermuda’s natural geographic landmarks”.
He added: “This was not done by wave action or attrition — that’s hard Walsingham rock.”
Expressing surprise at the news, former government conservation officer David Wingate said: “That’s very bad if it was deliberately done — it shows a lack of passing on of tradition.
“At one time, everyone would have known about Lion Rock. I don’t think anybody would have dreamt of harming it, but the way it is broken would tell that.
Another possibility is if a boat broke loose and banged up against it but the boat would come off worse.”
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