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The 14-foot giraffe statue has returned to the roof of the Meijer gas station on West Saginaw

The giraffe that sat on top of the Meijer gas station on West Saginaw Highway is back after it was taken down about two weeks ago.
 For more than 50 years a 14-foot giraffe has been sitting on top of the Meijer gas station on West Saginaw Highway.
Posted at 2:45 PM, Sep 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-01 14:57:47-04

DELTA TWP, Mich. — For more than 50 years, a 14-foot-tall giraffe has been sitting on top of the Meijer gas station on West Saginaw Highway. When it was taken down a few weeks ago, many community members went into panic mode.

Now they can breathe a sigh of relief. The statue is back.

An old snapshot of the giraffe on top of the Meijer gas station.
An old snapshot of the giraffe on top of the Meijer gas station.

Five-year-old Titus Lassley came up with his own name for the giraffe, Savannah, and always points at it when he passes by. When the giraffe came down, he was upset.

“I was just thinking I miss the giraffe,” Titus said.

DeAnn Lassley, Titus's mom said it's "kind of something that we’ve enjoyed so it was kind of like hoping it would come back. Things change a lot, so you never know.”

Titus Lassley and his mom DeAnn are looking at the giraffe.
Titus Lassley and his mom DeAnn are looking at the giraffe.

But their hopes were answered.

“I was excited because I love it to come back,” Titus said.

Olivia Kurajian moved to the Lansing area last summer. She said the giraffe is a sort of cultural icon.

“I think that it’s just something unique. I don’t know that there’s any other gas station with a giraffe on the roof," Kurajian said. "So, it’s a nice thing to drive by, a nice landmark. Just a reminder to smile.”

The Meijer giraffe is back
The Meijer giraffe is back.

The giraffe was taken down about two weeks ago and securely bolted to the ground in a corral to keep it safe because the gas station is being remodeled.

According to the West Saginaw Meijer Store Director Jeremiah Hernandez, the giraffe was returned to the gas station as a gesture to the community.

The West Saginaw Meijer giraffe.
The West Saginaw Meijer giraffe.

This is Meijer’s only giraffe so let's rewind a bit and explain how it got there.

During the 1970s and '80s, Meijer had a playland for kids inside the store with animal statues.

During the 1970s and 80s, Meijer had a playland for kids inside the store where there were animal statues.
During the 1970s and 80s, Meijer had a playland for kids inside the store where there were animal statues.

During a remodeling project, a contractor ordered a giraffe but it was too large for kids to use. Instead of returning it, the contractor played a joke and installed it on the roof of the gas station. The rest is history.

The famous giraffe on top of the Meijer gas station in Delta Township.
The famous giraffe on top of the Meijer gas station in Delta Township.

If you see the giraffe come down again in the next few weeks, don’t freak out. The store expects to move it again to an offsite location to be refurbished as they continue to work on the gas station.

Store officials do expect our long-necked friend to return later this fall.

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Cali Montana

Cali Montana

2:27 PM, Jan 20, 2021

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