Elephants on parade in London
London, UK, May 2010—visitors to London this summer are in for a shock—the sight of herds of colourful life-size baby elephant sculptures in the UK’s capital. Hosted by Elephant Family and the Greater London Authority, Elephant Parade 2010 is aiming to raise funds for elephant conservation in Asia.
Each elephant started life as a blank sculpture. Artists and celebrities were then invited to design and decorate them—and their work can now be seen in parks, on street corners, even on buildings throughout London.
TRAFFIC is an official conservation partner of Elephant Parade 2010 and is the proud owner of the parade’s only “Tigerphant”.
The design was created by accomplished wildlife artist Dominique Salm, and blends the unmistakable patterning of a Tiger into the shape of an elephant.
Asian Elephants and Tigers are both impacted by illicit trade—elephants are traded live and for their ivory and Tigers poached for their bones and other parts for use in Asian medicine.
TRAFFIC’s conservation work related to Asian Elephants includes investigation of the illegal live Asian Elephant trade, exposing the illicit ivory trade and working with governments to help improve legislation and trade controls.
Our conservation efforts for wild Tigers includes surveys of the illicit trade in Tiger parts, helping to equip and train forest guards in the use of metal detectors to find hidden snares, and discouraging the consumption of Tiger products.
The TRAFFIC Tigerphant is unique among the Elephant Parade statues as it is the only one on display in London’s Chinatown, where it is is sure to attract much attention during the Year of the Tiger.
After two months on display, all 250 elephant statues will be sold at auction at Sotheby’s, which aims to raise over GBP1 million (USD1.5 million), benefitting more than 15 UK conservation charities working in Asia.
According to Boris Johnson, Mayor of London: “Elephant Parade is a brilliantly innovative way of using public art to benefit conservation.
“Not only will the parade brighten London’s streets and enhance our public spaces, it will play a vital role in building a new generation of conservationists.”