Damien Hirst’s Verity almost ended up as dino food after an art-loving t-rex ‘escaped’ from his handlers during a trip to Ilfracombe.

Like a scene from Godzilla, the runaway Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park monster squared up to the controversial statue before deciding he may have bitten off more than he could chew.

Park director Dawn Butcher said a 'code red' had been issued as soon as the unruly reptile had broken its bonds during a trip to the South West Birdman with park staff.

"Thankfully we were able to track him down and recapture him before he could take a chunk out of Verity," she said.

"No one fancied explaining to Damien why his statue had even less meat than usual and we wouldn't like to have to replace her either."

In fact of course, the animatronic tyrannosaur was on its best behaviour as it accompanied park staff and keepers to the Ilfracombe Round Table charity event.

As well as the eye-catching saurian, keepers brought various creatures to meet the public including snakes, cockroaches and rabbits.