By CHRIS EDENS
Gorilla warfare paid off in Oologah last week.
A rally cry erupted after a suggestion was made to remove the gorilla in theOologahTownPark.
Mayor Jerry Holland asked for feedback from the community on the gorilla’s fate.Hollandsaid he got plenty.
“Everybody I heard from said ‘save the gorilla’ and I agree,”Hollandsaid. “The gorilla is safe. He has a permanent home. It’s the consensus of the board that he’s not going anywhere.”
The Leader was flooded with responses on Facebook last week in favor of keeping the Oologah landmark. Over 300 people posted comments to keep the gorilla.
“It’s more a part of Oologah than the statue of Will Rogers in the middle of the street to me,” Justin Layton said on Facebook
Media inTulsaalso picked up on the story. TwoTulsatelevision stations ran stories about how people in Oologah were passionate about keeping their beloved gorilla.
Oologah resident Kenneth Sitton donated and placed the gorilla in the town park in 1974. Generations of Oologah children have grown up playing on the gorilla.
“Our class decided that we should keep it because if the town gets rid of it, they will be ruining the childhood of future generations. It would also be shattering childhood memories of others,” Brandi Kime’s art class at Oologah said in a post on the Leader website.
Mayor Holland said he’d received a number of phone calls and talked to people in person about the gorilla. He said people were overwhelmingly in favor of keeping him in the town park.
Hollandreceived a letter from a young Oologah boy last week asking him to keep the gorilla.
“Why are you taking away the gorilla at the park? It has been there for many, many years and I think it’s fun to play with and ride,” Joshua Robinson said. “I want it to stay where it is at right now.”
Hollandwrote Robinson a response and police Lt. Jared Tice delivered the letter in person Monday. Tice said the young boy was thrilled when he read the mayors response.
“The town board has taken your concerns, among many others and has decided the Gorilla has a permanent home next to our new Town Hall and futureMediaCenter,”Hollandwrote.