Business sells statues that were linked to Union County's "goril - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Business sells statues that were linked to Union County's "gorilla project"

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ELK POINT, S.D. (KTIV) - If you've ever taken I-29 to Sioux Falls, you've probably noticed a group of gorilla statues waving at you from the side of the road. They even inspired the name for a then-secret project planned for Union County, South Dakota.

The Statuary is now liquidating their assets and moving up to Sioux Falls.

From unsung heroes, to whimsical goats, majestic lions, to things just downright wacky, the Statuary just outside of Elk Point, South Dakota has something to pique everyone's interest. "It's always done pretty good, so we're excited about it and kind of expecting some growth," Clifford Wollman, the Statuary's owner said.But unfortunately, the business found themselves between a rock and a hard place. They're moving up to Sioux Falls and auctioning off the rest of their inventory.

"A lot of changes have happened with our schedule and our life, so it's just time to kind of consolidate a little bit," Wollman said.

As these stony effigies are put up for auction on May 30, it'll be something of the end of an era, according to Wollman. Not only for the statuary, but for an oil project that's all but long forgotten."Somebody just thought it would be cool to incorporate the gorillas into the Hyperion Oil Refinery project," Wollman said.

The Hyperion Oil Project, a $10 billion project planned for Union County, South Dakota, met its downfall when local landowners cried out in protest. In its earliest stages, it was unofficially christened 'The Gorilla Project,' because of the gorilla's proximity to the proposed project site."I'm not sure what the relation is with the oil fields to the gorillas, except for we had the four gorillas there that we set up so it kind of looks like they're dancing or waving at passerby," Wollman said.But now, the gorilla statues are almost all sold off, and the company is trying to sell the rest of the inventory. As for those who bought the gorilla statues? They say they're pretty excited. "They were always alongside the road up there, and I kind of wanted them, but I kind of put it on the back burner. Then they were going out of business, so I thought it'd be a good thing to set at the end of the driveway," Tom Hummel said.

Where the three gorillas he purchased will have a smaller viewing audience, but one that is sure to be just as happy to see the pack of waving gorillas.

The auction for The Statuary's inventory will take place at their site just off of exit 18 on I-29, on May 31.

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