Live Local: Giraffe and Elephant statues on HWY 49

If you drive on Highway 49 you’ve probably noticed the elephant and giraffe hanging out in front of Maxem Health Urgent Care. They’ve become beloved icons to the city.

For this week’s Live Local, News 25’s Lorraine Weiskopf shares their story.

There are huge circus animal statues sitting in front of the Maxem Health Urgent Care on Highway 49. Why? Well, in 2009, the elephant and giraffe statues were purchased by the owner for his daughter to adore. “His daughter wanted to be a veterinarian and loved animals.”

Little did he know, he purchased future icons to be cherished by drivers on Highway 49. Maxem Health Urgent Care President Brianne Whitney said, “They were kind of expensive at the time, but we were like ‘why not?’ She loves it and it became this thing at the time and people were like ‘I wanna go to the elephant or giraffe place.’”

The giraffe also has a name and it is Max. He’s the mascot for Maxem Health. “Let’s have a mascot that’s kind of fun and no one wants to wear an elephant outfit, but the giraffe was doable. We had a contest with our employees and asked them to name the character so they named him Max.’”

Max the Giraffe and his elephant friend never miss dressing up for the holidays. You can currently spot them in their Easter attire, watching traffic along Highway 49 for commuters to enjoy.

Locals are sharing their love for Max and his elephant friend online, too. You might have seen a few memes circulating regarding stimulus check purchases.

One local, Gracie Fillingane, got in on the trend. Her meme saying: “Direct Deposit: +1,400. Me at Urgent Care on 49: How much for the giraffe?” Fillingane said, “I was like ‘oh my gosh, I need to do one of those with the giraffe.’ I feel like everybody on the Coast knows it and we all think about it when we drive by and stuff.”

The meme is a hit with almost 3,000 shares on Facebook alone. “I kinda got a lot of retweets on Twitter and I didn’t even know it was posted on Facebook. One of my friends told me. It was nice to read the comments and see how much everyone enjoyed it.”

It’s going to cost more than your stimulus check to take home Max, his worth measured by the love from the community: priceless.

Categories: Community Headlines, Featured

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *