One-of-a-kind Elephants to raise funds for The Asian Elephant Foundation
The looming extinction of the Asian elephant population seems to be unheard of in the U.S. — that is, until a herd of life-size baby
elephant sculptures set foot in Southern California for Elephant Parade: Welcome to America.
Experts report a 90% reduction of the Asian Elephant population over the last 100 years. At this rate, this majestic mammal would be extinct within a few short decades. Elephant Parade is a social-enterprise on a global crusade to raise awareness of the Asian elephants’ dramatic plight. After stops in London, Milan Singapore and other cities around the globe, the creative cause has raised more than $6 million through merchandise and auction sales to help support the species.
The L.A. LIVE installation included designs from Khloe Kardashian, Andre Miripolsky, Sona Mirzaei and Laura Seeley as well as the newest elephant to join the herd from Richard Saul Wurman, creator of the globally-acclaimed TED conferences. This colorful cast joins a long list of acclaimed artists, international icons and local designers all coming together to raise awareness for the cause.
Since 1986, the Asian or Asiatic elephant has been listed as endangered by IUCN as the population has declined by at least 50% over the last three generations, estimated to be 60–75 years. The species is pre-eminently threatened by habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation. In 2003, the wild population was estimated at between 41,410 and 52,345 individuals. Female captive elephants have lived beyond 60 years when kept in seminatural situations, such as forest camps. In zoos, elephants die at a much younger age and are declining due to a low birth and high death rate.