Some unidentified vandals have decapitated dinosaur statues at Australia's National Dinosaur Museum in Canberra.

Police suspect the vandals, whom they termed as "idiots", may have used a hacksaw or angle grinder to cut the heads off the life-size statues.

The shocking incident took place over the weekend, possibly on Saturday (5 July) night. The vandals are thought to have scaled a four-foot high wall to enter the museum compound where they beheaded the three raptor statues on display outside the museum.

"We went out to check it out and three of our dinosaurs here have been decapitated," Mitchell Seymour, a museum employee, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. He added that they were first notified about the missing heads by upset visitors. "We had heaps of kids coming up and going 'oh mum and dad, what's wrong with the dinosaurs?"

Calling the act "selfish" and "thoughtless", Seymour said they can fix the statues if the heads were returned in one piece. "They're useless to us now. We can't put headless dinosaurs out on display."

Police have studied the CCTV footage of the museum and found that a dual-cab utility vehicle left the car park around the suspected time of the attack, which is 11pm local time (2pm BST) on Saturday.

Police have urged people with information about the vandals to share it with the police and help recover the statue heads.

"We're expecting these perpetrators, because they're obviously not very smart, will tell people about it," Station Sergeant Rod Anderson said. "We want people to give us information identifying who these idiots are.

"It's a pretty stupid act but if we could get it back for the museum that'd be great."