Clear Creek Trail: The Next African Safari?

Brynn Grimley writes:

Randy Peterson, member of the Clear Creek Task Force, walks the Clear Creek Trail on a weekly basis. He makes sure things are in place, vandalism is immediately removed, and keeps tabs on what’s going on. He then gives a trail update at the task force’s monthly meeting.

A few months ago that update included this simple statement: “There’s a giraffe on the trail.”

You can imagine the looks he got.

Hiding among the six-foot tall grass, near the tree line at the start of the paved portion of the trail sits a giraffe.

Yes, giraffe.

The towering creature blends into the background, but there’s no need to do a double take, it really is there. If you stand just right in the tall grass and let your imagination go, you can almost feel the desert heat, smell the dust and animals and hear the call of Africa’s exotic animals.

“It’s down there on the savannah,” said Tex Lewis, Clear Creek Task Force volunteer. “We think it’s kinda neat. It’s kind of one of those mysteries.”

Lewis admitted with all the work he’s done on the trail, he hasn’t actually spotted the creature that stands close to 15 feet tall.

He’s not sure when it arrived, making the trail its new home. He thinks maybe a year ago, but Peterson thinks it migrated to the trail more around summer time.

Mary Earl, another Clear Creek Task Force volunteer, guessed the animal had been in its current location since spring.

More importantly, where did it come from? Was it stolen? Who would construct and paint an authentic looking giraffe and leave it in a field?

While some claim to know the answer, they aren’t naming names. But, they promise the animal is not stolen goods.

Peterson called the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office to see if anyone had reported a missing giraffe shortly after he spotted it on the trail. He also put an ad in the newspaper.

When nothing turned up, it was determined the giraffe must stay.

And why not, the volunteers ask.

Astute trail walkers have discovered it, creating a meandering path through the grass to see it up close. The giraffe has generated a lot of interest, Peterson said.

There’s also rumor that another African friend — an elephant — will join it soon.

“I think it’s kind of whimsical,” Lewis said. “Someone had a sense of humor.”

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