If you spotted a herd of elephants walking down the Mall in London this morning, you wouldn’t be the only one.
One hundred life-sized Asian elephant sculptures were displayed in front of Buckingham Palace to promote the coexistence of humans and animals.
They were placed in marching down the Mall outside the Queen’s main residence by conservation group Elephant Family as part of the CoExistence campaign.
The campaign was launched in response to ‘the increasing overlap between the human and animal worlds, which is partly responsible for the spread of deadly zoonotic diseases.’
Each model, launched by IBI Logistics International, is made from the lantana plant, an invasive weed that benefits wildlife when they are removed from protected areas.
After debuting in central London, the elephants will be displayed in various parks across the city before being sold; It’s £6,000 for a calf and £30,000 for an adult elephant.
All proceeds will support the work of the Elephant Family, including securing wildlife corridors to facilitate the safe movement of animals and people and opening expansive national parks.
The fund is also expected to go towards protecting indigenous and tribal knowledge.
Ruth Ganesh, Elephant Family’s creative lead and trustee, said: ‘Today marks the first major step in the herd’s 13,000-mile migration around the world. Over the past 18 months, many countries have fallen into lockdown.
‘Due to tragic circumstances, this great pause – fueled by love – is providing vital guidance on how to best share space with the animals of the eastern planet.
‘The elephants are here to tell their stories about the inspiring ways we can co-exist with all the other living things that make our world so magical.’