Waroona community celebrates as Mooriel returns to Waroona Visitors Centre after being stolen

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenSouth Western Times
Mooriel has been recovered by police after she was stolen from the Waroona Visitors Centre.
Camera IconMooriel has been recovered by police after she was stolen from the Waroona Visitors Centre. Credit: Shire of Waroona/Facebook

Waroona’s beloved Mooriel has returned to the town after a trek over 100km away from home.

Those heading along South Western Highway will once again be greeted by the a-moo-sing icon after she went missing for four days.

In perhaps the town’s most brazen crime in years, the cow statue was stolen from the Waroona Visitors Centre about 5pm on Friday, October 13, with eyewitness reports indicating she then travelled in a ute northbound through Pinjarra about 45 minutes later.

The public was left in the lurch about what happened next as police and the Shire of Waroona worked hard to figure out what had happened to the beloved bovine.

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A breakthrough came on Monday when officers recovered her from a location in Perth’s northern suburbs.

Mooriel was returned to her rightful home the following Tuesday afternoon after spending a night at Morley Police Station, though not for a crime she committed.

Mooriel spent a night at the Morley Police Station.
Camera IconMooriel spent a night at the Morley Police Station. Credit: Shire of Waroona/Facebook

Waroona Shire president Mike Walmsley said he was pleased she was back in town.

“I don’t think she has been damaged in any way,” he said.

“She has got a bit of a cult following in the town and the district, so people were a bit devastated about it.”

Cr Walmsley thanked Waroona police for their assistance, with officer-in-charge Sgt. Keith Tarver working on one of his days off to help solve the crime.

Two people have been charged with stealing as a result of the incident.

Mooriel has been at the Waroona Visitors Centre since 2014 after she left St Joseph’s School.

The last time she disappeared was while the centre was closed during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Children at a nearby childcare centre were said to be “very alarmed” when they witnessed a crane “kidnapping” her at the time, before she later returned from her “holiday” at the Waroona Shire depot.

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