Three giant "Skittles" have been stolen from the Nature Playground at Assiniboine Park.
The colourful balls, made of recycled rubber, are climbing obstacles for children. The balls were anchored to the ground along a path in the children’s play area, which is filled with unique items and structures to encourage children to run, jump, swing and climb.
Park officials say the balls, called Skittles by staff as they look like giant versions of the Skittles candy, are extremely heavy, weighting about 150 kilograms each.
"It is a bit of a mystery how and why someone might want to take them, but nevertheless, they are gone and we would love to get them back," said Laura Cabak, Assiniboine Park Conservancy brand and communications manager.
The missing three balls are part of a collection of 14 which are located in various locations the park.
Cabak said gardeners noticed the balls were missing when they arrived early Tuesday morning.
"We have searched the park in the hopes that the culprit(s) may have discarded them somewhere on the grounds, but have had no luck," she said.
Cabak said the Nature Playground is not open after dark.
"The gates are shut in the evening at dusk and locked and the playground is surrounded by a fence. I guess, if someone was so inclined, they might climb over it," she said.
But she noted the perpetrators would still have needed a way to get the heavy balls out of the park.
"We’re hoping that whoever has taken them has discarded them and somewhere, someone is looking at a big colourful ball and wondering what the heck is this thing and now they’ll know and they can give us a call and we’ll come get it."
Anyone with information is asked to call 204-927-6000.
The Nature Playground includes a sand and water play area, slides, tunnels, swings, rubber mountains, net bridges and other structures.