A playground statue of a gorilla was removed after complaints that it was racist.
The caged ‘animal’, nicknamed Dobby, was pulled from the circus-themed Community Park in Corsicana, Tx., earlier this month after 45 complaints that the fiberglass creature was offensive.
Corsicana mayor Don Denbow said: ‘We can understand this, because we have an obligation to listen to all our citizens, to determine what is offensive and not, especially in public places.
‘It’s a black gorilla in a cage, and I think that’s what I gleaned from all those comments.’
Denbow added that Dobby was caged over safety fears because of his status as a freestanding statue.
The animal has been in place since 1999, but was hauled off after a sudden upswing in complaints about him last December.
But his sudden removal has outraged many, with local resident Steven Lord even staging a sit in which he vows will continue until Dobby returns.
Steven told CBS DFW: ‘In a situation like this where it’s a toy for children, it’s only racist if you make it racist.’
Others have led chants against the figure’s removal, with an ‘In memory of Dobby’ Facebook page also being set up.
One photo shows the gorilla being driven away in the back of the truck, with the caption ‘Here is the last photo of me as I was being hauled off.
‘As you can tell by the look on my face…. I was pissed.’
Locals have also staged a candelit vigil for the plastic animal, with balloons and tealights being lit to protest at his absence.
And it appears their protests have worked, with one city official saying Dobby would soon make a return to the park.
Jeff Smith, from Corsicana City Council wrote on Facebook Wednesday: ‘WE HAVE NEWS! Update on the Gorilla-He will be PLACED BACK IN THE PARK AS SOON AS WEATHER PERMITS!’