MITCHELL, SOUTH DAKOTA - A spokesman for the Corn Palace, a famous South Dakota landmark, announced today they have discovered the cause of the destruction of the structure.
The Corn Palace, a large, ornate structure covered in decorative murals made out of corn, other grains, and natural grasses, was originally designed and built in 1892 in order to show the world how healthy South Dakota's agriculture is.
Apparently, something else agreed as to the healthfulness of the corn, as the building has been systematically eaten over the past several weeks. Local police and agricultural investigators were called in to try to determine the identity of the culprits, but their efforts were largely unsuccessful.
"We watched our beloved Corn Palace seemingly disappear before our very eyes," said Chuck Welk, who is the director of the facility. "It wasn't until Wilbur Thompson, one of our local hunters, thought to put up a game cam that the truth of the matter came to light."
After examining the stills taken by the cam, the culprit was caught red-handed, or should we say "brown-handed". What appeared in the photos was Sciurus niger, a Fox Squirrel, the largest species of squirrel native to North America.
Although authorities plan to rebuild the structure in time for the summer tourist season, first they are going to use live-traps to apprehend all the voracious, chubby little varmits.
The plan is to relocate the squirrels to Yosemite National Park which is about 1800 driving miles away; a distance biologists feel will be sufficient to prevent their return.