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22 January 2012 / leggypeggy

Baby elephant walk—saving Asian elephants

Meet one of the baby elephants who is helping to save fellow Asian elephants.

When we saw the collection of colourful and quirky baby elephants near the port in Singapore, we had no idea it was a philanthropic and history-making exhibit.

Later I learned it was part of the ongoing Elephant Parade, and the brainchild of a father-and-son team, Marc and Mike Spits.

Six years ago they visited an elephant hospital in Thailand and were shocked to meet, Mosha, an elephant calf who’d been badly hurt after stepping on a landmine. They set out to create a sustainable event that would inspire, entertain and raise money to help save Asian elephants. They commissioned two Thai artists to create papier-mâché baby elephant prototypes, and then recruited artists to paint 50 fibreglass elephant figures that could be displayed and later auctioned off.

The first Elephant Parade debuted in the Netherlands in 2007, and sales from that event approached 250,000 euros. Since then hundreds more elephants have been made and painted. Subsequent parades and auctions have now earned millions of euros.

In Singapore, we were viewing the most recent parade. Those elephants are being auctioned off this month—January 2012—by Sotheby’s.

Funds raised are to go to the Asian Elephant Foundation and conservation arm of Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Also don’t forget to pick a number before 29 February 2012.

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