Elephant Parade Raises Over £5m
Chiswick's mosaic-adorned 'Phoolan' auctioned for charity
The Elephant Parade raised a staggering £5million. The initiative saw London’s streets taken over by 258 beautifully hand painted life-size baby elephants, creating a dazzling and unique urban savannah to raise awareness for the plight of the Asian Elephant.
They included amongst their numbers ‘Phoolan’ (pictured right), which was displayed outside the Natural History Museum. One of its creators Carrie Reichardt told ChiswickW4.com, "Our elephant ‘Phoolan’ was the only one in the parade to have a hide and ceremonial coverings made entirely of mosaic tiles Yet her looks aren’t only skin deep.
"The tiled side of Phoolan shows her beauty and the glamorous trappings that adorn elephants at public festivals, but her dark side reveals a handcrafted skeleton with bones broken by landmines and human cruelty, which, together, tell of the exploitation and neglect that many Asian elephants suffer every day of their lives.”
The beloved elephants fast became a London must see with hundreds of thousands of people following ‘the elephant trail’ to ensure they spotted each and every one. After two months the campaign ended by herding together all 258 pachyderms at the Royal Hospital Gardens in Chelsea, receiving over 200,000 visitors in just four days.
The project resulted in an exciting Elephant Parade Mela and auction attended by a host of celebrities and VIPs including Goldie Hawn, Liz Hurley, Richard Caring, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie as well as artists Jack Vettriano, Marc Quinn and Ben Shine, creator of the Taxi Elephant to name but a few. The auction alone raised a phenomenal £1,000,010 from the sale of just 30 elephant models.
The huge success didn’t stop there with a second live auction raising over £700,000 giving the total for the auction lots the sum of £4million. The final amount including the private pledges and raffle tickets generated an exceptional £5million, fully equipping Elephant Family to build the much needed elephant corridors linking Asia’s forests that are so vital to the survival of this magnificent species.
Mark Shand, Founder of Elephant Family says: “From all of us at Elephant Family London, we thank, honour and salute you for your astonishing generosity. Elephant Parade put a smile on your faces but not half as big a smile as you have put on the faces of endangered Asian Elephants…. We DOUBLED our target – a staggering £5million. You are the generation that have helped return the forests to the elephant; a true gesture of grace in perpetuity”.
Working with the Wildlife Trust of India, funds raised by the Elephant Parade will be used to buy and manage vital wildlife habitat across Asia, giving Asian elephants a safer and more sustainable future. Elephant Family will also invest funds in community education projects across Asia, highlighting the commercial, cultural and ecological significance of Asian elephants. In just 100 years the elephant population has shrunk by over 90%, dropping from 250,000 to an estimated 25,000, placing this valuable species dangerously close to extinction. If current trends continue the Asian elephant will cease to exist in the wild by 2050.
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July 27, 2010