Lyons, tigers and vandalism

Photo by Hannah Roach '17 The tiger has since been nailed down in front of Gaylord Library so as to avoid a second relocation.

Photo by Hannah Roach '17
The tiger has since been nailed down in front of Gaylord Library so as to avoid a second relocation.


Gaylord Library has been the site of several instances of vandalism over the past month. The tiger statue standing in front of the library has been repeatedly moved from its original location. On the night of Sept. 23, South Hadley Police Department filed an incident report, according to MassLive. In a statement to MassLive, the police stated that they suspect it was moved by college students.

The report states: “It is more than likely that the tiger was moved by college students after several parties on the MHC campus got out in the evening." The tiger was moved onto the president’s house property. Police were alerted to the statue’s movement at 9:30 a.m. in the morning of Sept. 24, when a local woman “wanted to know why the tiger that was in front of Gaylord Library was now in front of the president of MHC’s house.” 

Although there is no record of vandalism of the tiger on Mount Holyoke’s Daily Crime and Fire Logs, many believe Mount Holyoke students are to blame.

It is believed that several people are moving the tiger. Two students, who requested anonymity, spoke out about the events. When asked if they knew who moved the tiger, one replied, “of course, we both do.”

One source commented, “It’s funny and harmless and brings back good, old fashioned merriment.” They continued, “Also, the students weren’t drunk — confirmed.”

When asked about the prank, the Mount Holyoke student said, “Here’s the thing — most college kids destroy private property, get drunk and throw up in hallways. So, moving a tiger seems like no big deal. Like 30 feet — they hardly even moved it.”

The tiger has a sign placed before it to remind visitors, "You may touch, hug and pet me. But for your safety and mine, please don't ride or climb me." 

There is no apparent damage to the tiger, and the public works department has moved the tiger back since its relocation.

The tigers were designed through the Tiger Planning Committee, according to 22News. Committee member Alan Gardner said in an interview with 22News, “We are trying to push the idea of being a tiger town and having tigers around helps push that spirit and bring us all together.” The tigers were funded through both private funding and donations, according to 22News. 

Acting president Sonya Stephens was not at home when the tiger was moved in front of her door, but in a statement to Mount Holyoke News, she wrote: “I can tell you that, from what my family told me, it gave the dog something to think about!”