One much-loved feature of the Swindon collections, Geraldine the gharial won’t be in the new museum and gallery when it opens.

Frances Yeo, the borough council’s museums manager, told attendees at a public exhibition on how the new galleries would be set up that the Indian crocodile had "suffered from being loved".

She said: “We got in a specialist wildlife conservator to have a look at the gharial.

"And it was in quite a poor state. There was chewing gum stuck to her for example, there were teeth missing, scales and parts of the tall were kissing.

READ MORE: First look at layout of new Swindon musuem and art gallery

“The conservator said even the eyes weren’t right. She doesn’t have gharial eyes, they’re more like teddy bear eyes.

“Basically she’s suffered from being loved so much by visitors.”

Ms Yeo told the attendees that the council has asked the wildlife conservator to work on the gharial to restore it properly to a good state of repair.

She added: “When that’s finished we’ll look to see how it can be put on display in the new museum and art galley in the civic offices here, but it won’t be here when we open.”

Gharials are native to northern India and are also known as the fish-eating crocodile.