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Long IslandSuffolk

Long arm of the law willing to free 16- to 20-foot giraffe

East Hampton Village police to sell statue, which officials believe was stolen but not claimed by its owner, to highest bidder next month.

The life-size statue will be available through a sealed bidding process next month after living in the East Hampton Village impound lot, as seen here on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017 (Credit: Newsday/Rachelle Blidner).

A life-size giraffe statue will be set free from the cage of the East Hampton Village impound lot and placed in a new home after a bidding process next month.

Bidders can expect to go neck and neck to purchase the giraffe, which was found abandoned in the wild of the village nature trail in June 2016.

Police, who had launched an investigation, said they believe the 16- to 20-foot statue was stolen from someone’s property and placed on the trail as a prank.

“Everybody had their picture taken with the giraffe at the nature trail,” East Hampton Village Police Chief Michael Tracey said. “It’s one of the better stunts I’ve seen over the years.”

But no one claimed ownership of the statue after a year, prompting it to become village property. The giraffe has been living among impounded vehicles and bicycles ever since. It was placed alongside a tree, looking as though it is nibbling leaves.

Officials deemed the statue a surplus item “since we have no use for it” and people expressed interest in owning it, Village Administrator Rebecca Molinaro Hansen said.

Whoever has the highest sealed bid is in for a tall order. The new owner will have to move the statue at a separate cost and procure a building permit, which is required for statues under village code, Molinaro Hansen said.

The giraffe is also a little banged up, with a bandage around its back leg, a broken tail and worn-out spots.

“Anybody who would like to give it a home during the holiday season is more than welcome to,” Molinaro Hansen said.

Interested bidders can call village officials at 631-324-4150 to receive a copy of a bid package, which must be submitted by 2 p.m. Dec. 12.

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