May 16, 2017 / 6:16 PM / 3 months ago

Canada academic's Sean Spicer cutouts sprout in bushes across North America

FILE PHOTO: White House spokesman Sean Spicer holds a press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 21, 2017.Carlos Barria/File Photo

(Reuters) - Cardboard cutouts of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer hiding in bushes are popping up all over North America, inspired by a British Columbia academic who kicked off the craze in her home town of Victoria.

Spicer, known for his often combative press briefings with journalists, was mocked worldwide last week after a Washington Post article described him huddling near bushes in the White House grounds as reporters waited to ask questions about the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

That story was later updated to clarify Spicer was "among" the bushes, not "in" the bushes.

The incident prompted British Columbia academic Lisa Kadonaga to come up with "Garden Spicer," a blown-up photo of the press secretary's head that she stuck in bushes near her home and then uploaded to Dropbox.

Her post on Facebook has been shared more than 110,000 times and Dropbox reportedly struggled with the volume of traffic as people rushed to download the image.

"Now you too can have the White House press secretary in -- or rather, 'among'* -- the bushes in your yard," Kadonaga wrote on her Facebook page. "And hey, if you're concerned that when exposed to the outdoors, the image will run.... no worries, that's exactly what Sean Spicer does, so it's totally authentic!"

Images on Twitter show "Garden Spicer" appearing in dozens of locations, including Washington DC, across British Columbia and outside Universal Studios in Florida.

Reporting by Nia Williams; Editing by Dan Grebler

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