BRANDON - Boaters and kayakers making their way down the Hillsborough River could soon encounter some surprising wildlife: a pink elephant and a purple camel.
John Knight of Tampa bought both statues, which stood on the corner of Brandon Boulevard and Limona Road for 39 years, for $2,200.
"I've always been interested in elephants, and I've actually known about the pink elephant statue for at least 30 years," Knight said.
The two statues known simply as "Elephant" and "Camel" were put up for sale by Paula Yambor earlier this summer.
Yambor opened up the bidding at $1,100 for the 2,000-pound Elephant and $500 for the Camel, which is lighter and features George Washington riding on top. Her late husband Arthur decided to change the color of the gray elephant statue he had acquired in the mid-1970s to pink. The property where Elephant and Camel stood - formerly the home of Shelton's plant nursery - was cleared out in 2004 after Arthur's death.
Yambor has decided to sell the .7-acre plot and had hoped someone in Brandon would step up and buy two pieces of the area's history. However, she is very pleased with Elephant and Camel's new home and that the two "friends" will remain together.
"I met him [Knight] and his wife, and I'm very satisfied that he bought the statues," Yambor said. "His kids and grandkids are excited, and I love that they'll be facing the Hillsborough River.
"Elephant will be happy to be close to the water."
Knight is the owner of of JBC Systems, a moving company based one-mile south of Busch Gardens near the river.
He said he plans to pick up the statue within the next few weeks.
"I've already got a dinosaur in my yard, so I figured why not put in an elephant and a camel there too," Knight said.