THE Jurassic Coast came to life when a dinosaur was spotted in Weymouth Bay.

The 20-ft high Tyrannosaurus Rex went for a paddle to the delight of youngsters over the weekend.

But council officials failed to see the funny side and dinosaur called Tex was taken away under police escort and impounded.

The metal model arrived in Weymouth bay courtesy of Great Dorset Maize Maze owner Paul Swaffield in his bid to have dinosaurs erected along the coast in time for the 2012 Olympics.

Mr Swaffield drove a tractor into Weymouth with Tex on a trailer and after passing the Jubilee clock he drove across the Esplanade, down a slope on to the beach and out to sea.

He said: “I drove it in as far as I could get it.

“My idea is to promote the Jurassic Coast for the 2012 Olympics as I’ve been trying to get a programme under way of putting giant dinosaurs in car parks.

“I want people who saw it to say whether it is a good idea. It’s all in aid of having a ‘wow factor’ for the Olympics. If we are a tourist area what better chance to do it.”

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council removed the model and Tex was given a police escort as he was taken to a compound.

But Mr Swaffield is hoping the council eventually sees the funny side and does not scrap Tex after he paid more than £2,000 to have it made.

He said: “I’m aware of legislation for cars but I’m not sure about dinosaurs.

“I’m not sure if you can impound a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The crowds down there loved it but they were a little bit surprised.

“I can understand the council taking it away because that’s their job.”

A Dorset Police spokesman confirmed they were called to help assist the council in removing the model to take it away. A spokesman for beach control said Mr Swaffield did not have any permission and the model had to be taken away for public safety.

She said: “It was quite a hazard so we had to take it away.

“It had metal spikes so we could not leave it on the beach. The dinosaur had to have a police escort when it was taken along the road as it was not a safe structure.”