Model giraffes to ‘put a smile on people’s faces’

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A NEWLY-arrived family of giraffes has caused a stir among residents and school pupils in Send.

The life-like animals, created using welded metal rings, were introduced to the village by Ron and Pat Bixley, who moved to the area 18 months ago.

“Parents with children park outside and we thought it would cheer them up going to school,” said Mr Bisley.

“In today’s recession, where there are no smiles around, we thought we would put a smile on people’s faces.”

The giraffes have taken up residence in the couple’s garden, at the junction of Woodhill and Send Barns Lane, and Mrs Bixley said they had received a lot of attention.

“Everybody’s been photographing them. Up to 11pm we’ve had cars there because they’re lit by a streetlight,” she said.

“We’re thinking of putting a sign up saying ‘please don’t feed the animals’.”

“Everywhere I go they say to me ‘you’re the lady with the giraffes’. Only one person said they didn’t like them.

“They look so real and we have put plants around them so eventually it will look like a jungle.”

The giraffes have been named Alfie, Grace and Lily and although they were bought in Chichester, they were hand made in Africa.

Mr Bixley said it was a bit of an operation to put them together.

“We assembled them in the kitchen where we’ve got quite a high apex.

“The mum just about got in there but we had to assemble the dad outside. He was left in the snow for a couple of weeks,” he said.