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Flames surround University of Maryland turtle statue Testudo

Dec. 18, 2013 at 5:12 PM

COLLEGE PARK, Md., Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Witnesses said University of Maryland's mascot turtle statue Testudo was surrounded by flames when "offerings" left by students during final exams caught fire.

The witnesses said the 1,000-pound bronze statue, cast in 1933 and placed in front of the McKeldin Library in College Park in the 1960s, was surrounded by flames late Tuesday when the traditional "offerings" left by students facing their big tests caught fire, the Baltimore Sun reported Wednesday.

Campus police said they were investigating the cause of the fire and they had not ruled out "malicious intent."

Wallace Loh, the university's president, said Testudo was not harmed in the fire.

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