An 18-foot giraffe statue that was abandoned in East Hampton Village last year has found a new home, but officials will not disclose who has it for that person’s protection, Village Administrator Rebecca Molinaro Hansen said.
The giraffe was purchased for $3,333 in a Dec. 12 sealed bid village auction after it was stolen from someone’s property and left in the village nature preserve as a prank in June 2016, officials said. No one had claimed the giraffe for more than a year as it stood in the village impound lot.
Village officials do not want “a similar situation to happen again,” so they will not release the new owner’s identity, Hansen said Monday.
“We don’t want to jeopardize the security of the person who got it because people may want to come look at the property to see it or steal it again,” she said. “We hope they enjoy it without having to worry about anything happening to it in the future.”
The giraffe — a little banged up with a bandage around its back leg, a broken tail and worn-out spots — went home Monday morning after the new owner offered $2,133 more than the second-place bidder and hired someone to move the statue in a large trailer, according to an auction record and Hansen.
The new owner also had to procure a building permit, which is required for statues under village code, Molinaro Hansen said in November when the auction was announced.
The same giraffe statue, made of fiberglass and resin, sells for about $6,000 at Behind the Fence Gallery in Southampton, director Alison Jennerich said.
“It’s kind of hard to hide an 18-foot giraffe on your property, so people will figure out who has it eventually,” Jennerich said.