During our 2010 visit to London, as we were walking across St. James Park, we saw several large, colorful statues of elephants. These were part of Elephant Parade London, an event designed to raise funds and increase awareness of the endangered status of Asian elephants, whose numbers have declined by 90% over the past 100 years. The 2010 London Elephant Parade comprised 260 elephant statues that were on display for two months in various locations around London. The parade ended with an auction of the top 30 elephants held on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Additional elephants were sold via an online auction. In the process, approximately 3 million pounds were raised for Elephant Family, a British charity dedicated to saving the Asian elephant from extinction. Above to the left is Kingdom by artist Rebecca Campbell. We spotted this elephant at Sloane Square in Chelsea. To the right below is Gaia Elephant, who we found nearby on King’s Road. Gaia is the creation of artists Carolyn MacLeod, Kevin Darke, and Carlamaria Jackson.
After spotting various elephant statues around London, we found small replicas from past Elephant Parades for sale in Selfridges. We became the fond owners of a miniature “Tomato” by artist Kongchan Thanom, which appeared in the Amsterdam 2009 Elephant Parade.
You can visit the Elephant Parade website to learn more about past, present, and future Elephant Parades. There’s also a webshop where you can purchase miniature replicas from past Elephant Parades.