Effort to save elephant statue from shuttered Burlington Center Mall

BURLINGTON TWP., N.J. (WPVI) -- You won't find any open stores in the now defunct Burlington Center Mall.

While it's undeniably a ghost town, there is one tenant. Well, actually there are two: A big, bronze elephant named "Petal" and the cheerful boy atop him.

The pair are about to get evicted from the only home they've ever known, and they're now looking for a new one.

The statue was created back in 1982. The mall commissioned Zenos Frudakis, a now-famous Philadelphia sculptor, to make something special for shoppers.

Petal was Frudakis' first sculpture. The work is near and dear to him, and he's on a mission to get Petal and his friend adopted.

"We are looking for a home for it. We don't want to see this mall brought down on the elephant. Once it's gone, we want it to survive," said Frudakis.

"They would like it to go to a nonprofit - they won't charge anyone for it. If I had to do this again it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, but they want to give it to a place where children can enjoy it," he said.

They are hoping the statue ends up at a non-profit organization, like a zoo or a hospital.

Speaking of zoos, Petal is named from her real life model at the Philadelphia Zoo.

The statue is large, standing about 11 feet high and 8 feet wide, and it's bronze, so it's heavy.

Right now they've set up a GoFundMe to cover the cost of the fountain's removal and installation.


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