CORSICANA, Texas -- Corsicana officials decided to take down a gorilla statue at a city park this week, saying the statue "was offensive to some of our citizens."
Some residents were less than thrilled by the decision.
A small memorial of sorts sprung up around the cage where the gorilla had been stationed at Community Park. On Wednesday, one man, Steven Lord, began sitting inside the cage, refusing to leave until the city promised to return the statue.
The statue was part of a display of other zoo animal statues, including a tiger.
The city's mayor wrote the following in a blog post:
The City of Corsicana has recently made the decision to remove a display in Community Park. It was determined to be potentially racially insensitive. This was brought to our attention by a few citizens. The circumstances were evaluated and determined to be valid. It was not possible to leave the gorilla without the cage due to safety reasons. The statue was top heavy and was caged initially to protect the children. The cage will be left and turned into a climbing feature. The City will look at replacing the display in the future.
Officials also were concerned about the safety of the gorilla, according to a city statement.
"It is the City's goal to depict all the animals in Community Park in a free environment that is safe for children," the statement said. "Other animals will be added to the display including a free-standing gorilla and a tiger."