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Tears over headless giraffe in Bury St Edmunds

Claire Burrowes, manager at HaGA Lifestyle, with Geremy the giraffe
Claire Burrowes, manager at HaGA Lifestyle, with Geremy the giraffe

A treasured Bury St Edmunds giraffe was left with a sore neck on Saturday after vandals ripped off its head.

Geremy, HaGA Lifestyle’s solid wooden giraffe, has become somewhat of a landmark in Eastgate Street and is a popular sight for children and adults alike.

Claire Burrowes with Geremy
Claire Burrowes with Geremy

But it was injured on Saturday night by five young men who were captured on CCTV ‘manhandling it’ before pulling off its head.

Shop owner Sarah Wells, who discovered the decapitated remains on Sunday, said: “When I saw the head laying against the fence I started to cry. I was so upset because I bought it, not to sell it, but for people to enjoy.”

At the time, she was busy preparing to relaunch the shop after a period of refurbishment and said the vandalism had given her something else to worry about unnecessarily.

In a Facebook post shared more than 460 times she gave those responsible until 5pm on Tuesday to contact the shop to prevent her from reporting them to the police for criminal damage – no-one came forward.

“An apology goes a long way but a criminal record does not,” said Ms Wells, who now plans to hand the CCTV to police.

HaGA was due to hold a grand reopening event last night to show off its new look, expanded cafe and all-new deli area where East Anglian produce, including meats, vegetables and specialist cheeses, are being sold.

It was also a chance for people to preview items due to be auctioned off on September 14 in aid of My Wish Charity’s ‘Every Heart Matters’ appeal.


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