On Aug. 13, 2011, a group of 40 to 50 made a kid-friendly dinosaur diorama out of the "Cardiff Kook."
The latest prank to be pulled on the hapless statue known as the Cardiff Kook is now extinct.
City crews tore down the latest rogue display of art work around 5 a.m. Monday to the disappointment of people who gathered to see the creation. Early Saturday morning, a group of people put together an elaborate display that included a giant Pterodactyl swooping down on the shoulders of the statue, officially named the Magic Carpet Ride.
"We live up in Ramona, and we came all the way down here to see the Pterodactyl," said Lee Barker. "I want my money back."
Money is a good word to describe the hoopla and mini controversy surrounding the pre-historic design.
The artist behind the concept and design is the same man responsible for pulling off the infamous Shark prank on the statue last year.
"You always want to go bigger and better," said Eric, who asked that we didn't use his last name.
Eric says he was inspired by a little girl looking at the shark when it was up last year. He said he wanted to build a diorama for the kids. The Pterodactyl scene was put together Saturday at 3:30 a.m. by a group of 40 to 50 people. It took one hour and 15 minutes to put up.
Eric says it cost him at least $1300 dollars of his own money.
"There are all these serious problems and bringing enjoyment, even if it's just a couple of minutes, to people is great," he said.
The artwork has been somewhat of an economic boon to local businesses, reaping the benefits of the hundreds of visitors to the statue.
"Every single time there's an elaborate buildup like this, especially when they did the shark, our business bumped up 25 to 30 percent," said Devon Howard manager of Patagonia surf and clothing shop.
Encinitas Mayor James Bond has a different perspective.
He says that, technically, the work is still defacement of public property. He says this display may have been over the top and the City Council may have to discuss fines.
"It's their decision. That's why we have them in office," Eric saud. "Hopefully they don't, but that decision is out of my hands."
"I smell a new fundraiser," said Dara Brown of Cardiff. "A donation box, a fund for the Kook's restoration and cleanup."
According to the deputy city manager of Encinitas, it cost about $445 dollars for crews to dismantle the Shark prank.