We're not called Don't Panic for nothing so when our client Knowsley Safari asked us to organise transport for a family of four elephants we were slightly relieved to find out they were of the fibreglass variety.
Last weekend we managed the first of a number of trips and their installation at Liverpool ONE, the city's premier shopping destination, as part of a campaign to highlight the threat to the world’s largest land mammal from the thriving ivory trade.
Experts from Knowsley Safari and DEFRA have partnered to create a campaign to encourage shoppers, workers and commuters to consider what a world would be like ‘If They’re Gone…’.
The elephant population is dwindling in areas of Africa, with an estimated 25,000 elephants killed in the country in 2011. Over the last year, an unprecedented level of poaching in elephants means that the global illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be just behind drugs, arms and human trafficking in value.
Internationally, the demand for traditional Asian medicines, which use parts of elephants, is skyrocketing and in January 2013, customs officials in Singapore uncovered a shipment of 1.8 tonnes of ivory, with a value of around £1.6m - a total of 1,099 raw tusks.
Poaching, combined with the damage to their habitat from the growth of the human population, leads experts to believe that the African elephant could become extinct within the next 25 years unless action is taken.
Knowsley Safari hope that the imposing elephant statues will encourage people to think twice before buying anything that may have been made using endangered animal parts or resulted in the destruction of their habitats. Made of cold-cast poly resin and fibre glass, the family of four consist of two adults that are 3.7m high and weigh in at 230kg and two baby elephants that range in height from 1.12m and weigh 30kg each.
Following the full week installation at Liverpool ONE, June 3 -10, the herd of elephants will then go onto roam throughout Liverpool, Knowsley, and areas across the North West.
Head of Animal Management at Knowsley Safari, Eveline De Wolf, who is one of the most experienced elephant keepers in Europe, explains the campaign’s role:
“Many people will never see a herd of elephants in the wild, which is why safari parks have such an important role to play in helping communities understand the impact of poaching on this keystone species.
“At Knowsley Safari, we have the power to make a difference, and through conservation and education, we are working to make sure that our children’s children grow up in a world where an elephant is more than just a memory.”
Knowsley Safari is home to a herd of seven African elephants. Over the past ten years, studies into elephant behaviour has given experts a much greater understanding and knowledge of their needs and this has influenced the current way that the giants are cared for. Today, Knowsley Safari is actively creating an environment around our elephants that meets the physical, psychological and biological needs of the species.
Big thanks to the lovely people at Democracy PR for the photo and the above news release.