A Giraffe At Promised Land

Pranksters placed a tall, plastic giraffe deep in Napeague State Park at some point in the past weeks.
Pranksters placed a tall, plastic giraffe deep in Napeague State Park at some point in the past weeks. David E. Rattray

    Tanner Bertrand drives on Cranberry Hole Road in Amagansett almost every day on his way to and from work at the Promised Land Fish Farm. Neighboring houses are always under construction, he said this week, but that’s usually the only excitement in the area.
    That all changed a few weeks ago. Driving along one day in May, Mr. Bertrand discovered a newcomer to the neighborhood. A life-size plastic statue of a giraffe had shown up on the south side of Cranberry Hole Road in Napeague State Park.
    “When I first saw it I slammed on the brakes,” said Mr. Bertrand. “I said, ‘Is it moving?’ ”
    Gordon Kelley, originally from North Carolina, has lived here for one year and works with Mr. Bertrand. He said, “That statue is probably worth a lot of money, but I never saw anybody putting it in. It was just kind of there one day.”
    Both men said the giraffe has been knocked down a few times by high winds.
    “It was standing up yesterday, and this morning when I came to work it was down,” said Mr. Kelley on Tuesday. “Is it back up again?”
    “Somebody’s tending to this giraffe!” said Mr. Bertrand.
    Rich Silver, owner of Andrra, a new restaurant on Three Mile Harbor in East Hampton, lives in the house nearest to the statue. He said he was shocked to see a giraffe in the neighborhood.
    Mr. Silver took pictures of the statue and asked his customers, “Who should I call? I have a giraffe in my backyard.”
    A man working on Mr. Silver’s house went out this week to set the fallen statue upright. On Tuesday he had it placed so that it appeared to be eating from a tall pine tree in the state park. 
    Mr. Silver doesn’t know how the giraffe got into the park, but now suspects one of his neighbors of pulling off a pretty funny prank.    
    “I don’t want to get him in trouble,” Mr. Silver said. He thinks the neighbor “was playing a trick on either his father or his father-in-law, who didn’t want to go on safari with him. So he got this statue.” 
    “We’re thinking of putting giraffe on the menu now,” said the restaurateur.
    Yesterday, Tom Dess, the manager of Montauk State Parks, said he hadn’t seen the statue yet. When he finds the long-necked creature, he’ll be sure to remove it.
    “You just can’t put things in the park,” said Mr. Dess.