‘Act of God’ struck grave of zoologist

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A GIANT monument marking the grave of one of Scotland’s most important Victorian zoologists has been destroyed by an “act of God”.

The obelisk to John Anderson has stood in Dean Cemetery for more than 112 years.

Visitors to the picturesque cemetery assumed vandals had been at work after it was found smashed into three pieces, along with two adjacent monuments, and a bronze bust of the zoologist disappeared.

However, cemetery staff said the stones were broken by a branch from a tree that fell in bad weather, and the bust was taken inside for safekeeping.

Stonemasons have now been commissioned to repair the historic monuments.

Cemetery foreman John Sutherland said: “Dean is full of names from Edinburgh’s past and whenever a stone is broken it looks very bad – but this was in the ‘act of God’ category.

“A branch came down from a tree in bad weather and wiped out the obelisk to the zoologist John Anderson and two others. Tree surgeons have been on site and stonemasons will soon start work to return the stones to their former glory. The bust is safely under lock and key.”