Everyone adores elephants. They’re beautiful, exotic, intelligent and sadly, they are increasingly rare. Take the smaller-eared cousin of the African elephant, the Asian elephant. The last century has seen their numbers drop dramatically because of human activity and population growth. Today there are 90% fewer Asian elephants than there were a hundred years ago, with only 35,000 or so of these miraculous creatures left on our lovely blue planet. To put their plight into perspective, that’s less than the number of people you’d find in a small British town.
Elephants have lived on the earth for literally millions of years longer than humans. They have just as much right to a secure future as we do. But unless we do something, and do it fast, they’ll become extinct within the next twenty years. That’s why the Elephant Parade has joined with the Asian Elephant Foundation to support their conservation. Elephants are at crisis point, and it’s time to do everything we possibly can to avert disaster.
Founded in 2007 and inspired by the true story of the baby elephant Mosha, The Elephant Parade is an extraordinary and innovative jewel in the wildlife conservation crown. Colourful, vivid and vibrant, it involves international parades of stunningly beautiful life-size baby Asian elephants, each decorated with skill, love and care by a high profile artists, designers and celebrities. An increasingly powerful voice for the Asian elephant, their wonderful open air art exhibitions attract attention from all over the world, essential if we want to save these glorious creatures from extinction.
Combining art, business and conservation seamlessly in every event, it’s a powerful social enterprise with a big heart. The life size elephant statues are exhibited in a growing list of high profile towns and cities, and sold at auction through high profile gala events. But there are also smaller hand painted limited edition replicas available online and in sympathetic shops across the world, so ordinary people on ordinary budgets can also join in and make their own invaluable contribution.
In 2011, The Elephant Parade decided to partner with just one international charity, the Asian Elephant Foundation, which exclusively supports the future of the Asian Elephant. All the proceeds from the auction or sale of the organisation’s gorgeous life-size elephant statues goes direct to the Foundation, as does a full 20% of the profits from retail and merchandising. You can buy limited edition sculptures of designer decorated elephants and even purchase a cool 15cm tall replica kit including special paints for decorating your very own elephant.
It’s an unforgettable and heart-warming experience seeing these elegantly decorated life-size beasts moving slowly through the streets, surrounded by delighted crowds. If you’d like to see The Elephant Parade for yourself, here’s a list of venues where they’re due to appear in late 2013 up to summer 2014. It’s an event you’ll never forget… nor will the elephants!