A £40,000 teddy bear formerly owned by Elvis Presley was destroyed when a guard dog which was supposed to protect it went on the rampage.

The rare Steiff bear, named Mabel, was due to form the centrepiece of an exhibition at Wookey Hole Caves near Wells, Somerset.

The bear was bought at auction in Memphis, Tennessee, by Somerset aristocrat Sir Benjamin Slade for £40,000 and had been loaned to the collection, a Wookey Hole spokesman said.

The dog "went berserk" and ripped the toy's head off. Guard Greg West was on duty on Tuesday when his dober-mann, Barney, savaged the bear. Wookey Hole manager Daniel Medley said: "It's a disaster. The scene is just a horrific mess, with bits of teddy bear everywhere."