Saturday, January 28, 2023 Jan 28, 2023
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By D Magazine |

THE IDEA THAT LESS IS MORE HAS NEVER caught on in Texas, and it has taken a giraffe’s tongue to prove it. When Dallas Zoo officials commissioned St. Louis artist Bob Cassilly to heighten awareness of the zoo’s R.L. Thornton entrance, he planned a giraffe about 60 to 65 feet tall with a proportional 2-foot tongue. But Dallas Morning News columnist Larry Powell, ever the astute historian, recognized the golden opportunity that had presented itself. Dallas, he told zoo officials, could potentially have the tallest statue in Texas: Huntsville’s statue of Sam Houston is a mere 67 feet. And mat’s without Houston sticking his tongue out at all. The zoo officials convinced Cassilly to alter the blueprints, forsaking artistic integrity and proving that, in Dallas, ego often supercedes reason. The giraffe now stands at 67-and-a-half feet with a reported 40-inch tongue, making it the tallest statue in Texas-and the longest giraffe tongue in the world.

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