Nation & World News

Mango Alert: Australians Puzzle Over Huge Stolen Fruit

By Bill Chappell on February 24th, 2014

Update at 7:45 a.m. ET, Feb. 25: Missing Mango Mystery Solved, Here Are The Juicy Details

Our original post fleshes out the story:

It’s 33 feet tall and 26 feet wide; it weighs seven tons. And as of last night, it’s missing: a giant mango vanished from its perch in Bowen, Australia, where it was erected in tribute to the region’s mango industry. Some say it could be a p.r. stunt; others are having fun with “Mango Gate” on Twitter.

The Big Mango became a tourist attraction after it was erected 12 years ago to commemorate the “Kensington Pride” mango that’s grown in Bowen, which bills itself as the mango capital of Australia. The gargantuan fruit cost $90,000 when it was built.

In Australia, they like large things. So much so that there’s a list of 150 “Big Things,” huge sculptures of everyday items that have become favorite roadside attractions. Just down the coast from the Big Mango, the Big Banana and the Big Pineapple are perhaps the most famous, leading some Aussies to warn of a possible plan to assemble an epic fruit salad.

Reports that Bowen officials didn’t immediately file a complaint with police have driven speculation that the incident is all a publicity stunt meant to drive interest in Bowen, on the Queensland coast in northeast Australia. But if the theft was staged, tourism officials were staying in character Monday.

“It looks like it was sort of a two o’clock this morning type thing,” Bowen Tourism chairman Paul McLaughlin tells Sky News.

He added:

“At the end of the day it’s a bloody big mango and I’m sure someone will see it and we’ll find it anyway.

“I think it’ll definitely turn up, no doubt about that. We’re not sure what has happened but I’m sure we’ll get it back.”

Surveillance footage from a nearby camera has been posted online; it shows what looks to be a fast and well-equipped operation, complete with a truck-mounted crane.

But something tells us the Big Mango will be found. As the Brisbane Times reports, “A Bowen’s Big Mango page was created on Facebook on Monday morning. The first post appeared about noon: ‘Bowen’s Big Mango is missing!!! Please share and help us find it!’”

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

A memorial erected by rescue workers near the site of the March 22 mudslide that killed at least 39 people.

Rescue Workers Erect Memorial To Washington Mudslide Victims

Rescuers say they’ve recovered 39 bodies from the massive March 22 mudslide and are still searching for four others.


A TransCanada Keystone Pipeline pump station operates outside Steele City, Neb. The State Department is extending the review period for the pipeline, given ongoing litigation in Nebraska over the project.

Keystone XL Pipeline Review Extended By State Department

Federal agencies are getting more time to review the controversial project, the State Department says, given an ongoing legal battle in Nebraska over whether the pipeline could pass through.


Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi speaking in Tokyo on Friday. He says Japan will cut back on the number of whales it kills this year, but resume previous levels in 2015.

Japan Says It Will Temporarily Scale Back Whale Hunt

After a U.N. court ruling last month ordering Japan to halt whaling in Antarctic waters, Tokyo said it was reducing its target catch to just 210 animals a year.


After a pretty long trip for two little kittens, they're safe and sound in San Diego.

Take A Break For Something Cute: Two Kittens Who Traveled Far

When a box was opened in Southern California, two little fur balls were inside. Now named Mouse and Wifi, the kittens survived a long trip. Their story’s a nice change from the week’s heavier news.


A parked car suffered damage when a adobe wall collapsed on it after a strong earthquake shook Chilpancingo, Mexico, on Friday, but there were no early reports of major damage or casualties.

Strong Quake Rattles Mexico, But No Injuries Reported

The magnitude 7.2 temblor’s epicenter was about 80 miles northwest of Acapulco, but it shook up residents in the capital, Mexico City.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments