Geoffrey the Giraffe, all 550 pounds and 16-plus feet of him, once lived at the Toys ‘R’ Us headquarters in Wayne, New Jersey. But when the toy retailer filed for bankruptcy last September and began liquidating its assets, it couldn’t find a buyer for the gangling fiberglass ruminant; the difficulty of moving him and the associated costs proved too big a reach for would-be takers. What would be his fate? Well, even amid the ashes of an iconic retailer’s demise, there was something to cheer.
This very morning, Geoffrey is being given a welcoming party in the lobby of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital in New Brunswick. It turns out the big guy found a buyer after all. Joseph Malfitano, liquidation adviser to Toys ‘R’ Us, bought the giraffe and funded the $10,000 cost of packing and shipping him 50 miles to New Brunswick. Then, RWJBarnabas Health board member Ken Rosen said he would donate the $6,000 needed to settle Geoffrey in his new spot in the hospital’s lobby, which henceforward is where he shall be receiving guests. Most other giraffes live in Africa where they browse on tall plants and keep an eye out for lions and leopards.