Elephant sculptures bring environmental message to Buckingham Palace

100 Asian elephant sculptures on display

A herd of life-sized elephant sculptures have gone on display in front of Buckingham Palace to promote the co-existence of humans and animals.

The 100 Asian elephants, which on Saturday were pictured crossing the Mall in London, were created by communities in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu who live in close proximity to the large land mammals.

The models were positioned by conservation group Elephant Family as part of the CoExistence campaign, a response to "the increasing overlap between the human and animal world, which is in part responsible for the spread of deadly zoonotic diseases".

Following the parade in the Mall, the elephants will be displayed in various London parks before going on sale for between £6,000 for a calf and £30,000 for a fully grown tusker. Each model is made from lantana, an invasive weed whose removal from protected areas benefits wildlife.

All proceeds will go to the work of Elephant Family, including securement of wildlife corridors to enable safe movement for animals and people, the expansion of national parks and the protection of indigenous and tribal knowledge.

Ruth Ganesh, creative lead and trustee of Elephant Family, said: "Today marks the first significant step on the herd's 13,000-mile migration around the world. Over the past 18 months, many countries have gone into lockdown.

"Brought about by tragic circumstances, this 'great pause' - coined the 'anthropause' - is providing crucial guidance on how to best share space with animals in our crowded planet. "The elephants are here to tell their story about the inspiring ways we can co-exist with all the other living beings that make our world magical - from tigers and orangutans to nightingales and elephants."