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Photos: Rocky & Bullwinkle Removed From Sunset Strip

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Beloved cartoon characters Rocky & Bullwinkle, who've reigned over Sunset Boulevard since 1961, were removed from the Strip today.

The statue of Moose and Squirrel was carried away by a crane, as captured in this black-and-white Instagram video, which was shared by Vintage Los Angeles on Facebook.

No one knew what had happened to the iconic statue until Vintage Los Angeles received this explanation. "[It had] a severe crack in the statue that was too expensive for the landlord to repair," said Brian Watson of Posh Pet Care, which just took over the space at 8218 Sunset Boulevard, formerly inhabited by longtime tenant Hollywood Hounds. Watson posted on Facebook, "The moose is loose! Say bye to Rocky and Bullwinkle. They'll be restored and moved to Dreamworks."

Dreamworks Honcohos David Geffen and Steven Spielberg (the man who gave us Animaniacs) bought the rights to Rocky & Bullwinkle last year, removed the statue and will make the repairs, according to Curbed LA.

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The L.A. Times note that the 15-foot fiberglass statue went up on September 24, 1961 in front of what was then Jay Ward Productions. At the time, the publicity stunt, "heralding the debut of The Bullwinkle Show" on NBC, drew '5,000 milling, screaming, caterwauling celebrants,'" the Times quotes a TV Guide report at the time.

The iconic statue drew mentions in the guidebooks Roadside America, where it was referred to as "beautifully tasteless and wonderfully weird," and L.A. Bizarro.

It sounds like the heroic duo won't be returning to the Strip, but they will be among friends.

Related:
Time Machine Hitchhike: Driving The 1967 Sunset Strip
Original* Hamburger Hamlet on the Sunset Strip Closing in December