Meet Willard Nivins and his orange elephant

VAN BUREN COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- What's nine feet tall, weighs over 500 pounds, and is orange all over?

You'll find the answer in Willard Nivins' front yard, where an orange-painted elephant proudly stands.

You'll find this orange art off of Highway 30 in Van Buren County, just two miles past the Bledsoe County line.

"Everyday, at least ten to twelve, sometimes 20 people, you never know how many are going to show up," the 85-year old Nivins said Tuesday afternoon. "They pull into the driveway and take pictures. It's an on-going thing everyday."

You can spot the orange image from a distance, but it's not until you arrive at Nivins' house do you realize what you're seeing.

"They're dumbfounded," Nivins says of those that drive by. "They slow down and come close to causing wrecks."

While most in the Volunteer State can appreciate the color of the animal, Nivins says his landscaping landmark does draw the ire of one particular college fan base.

"Alabama people stop by and say why did you have to put a T on an Alabama elephant."

The elephant, which is made of fiberglass, was originally at a nearby bed-and-breakfast. When the establishment went out of business late last year, the retired towing-station owner went on his elephant hunt.

"I made him (the owner) an offer (of $500) and he took it. I told him I needed to borrow his trailer to get it over here. I got four or five guys from the coffee shop to help me get it here, and in about 20 minutes, we had it here."

With the help of his neighbor, Nivins' elephant then received a coat of orange paint. Nivins then added a white 'Power T."

When asked why he wanted the elephant in his yard. Nivins simply responded by saying "because I loves animals" and "it's something nobody else has got."

Making Willard Nivins' big, orange elephant one-of-a-kind.


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