In honour of World Elephant Day, a life-size sculpture of an African elephant was placed in Union Square North, Manhattan, New York City earlier today, and will stand there for the entire day.
The piece is meant to represent the low population of African elephants and is a part of the “Don’t Let Them Disappear” campaign created by South African cream liqueur company Amarula, along with Kenya-based not-for-profit company WildlifeDirect.
According to the WildlifeDirect’s CEO, Dr. Paula Kahumbu, there are about only 400,000 African elephants left on this planet, and one elephant is killed by poachers every 15 minutes.
To create the life-size sculpture, Amarula teamed up with ice sculptor Shintaro Okamoto, who has created pieces for Zac Posen and luxury retail store Barneys New York. Prior to the sculpting, Okamoto planned to use about 85 blocks of ice and expected his masterpiece to weigh close to 18,000 pounds. It was created onsite and took a few hours.
While the sculpture will obviously melt by the end of day, Amarula hopes that the message will last forever. You can help too by raising awareness for African elephants and stop promoting and participating in hunting trips (if you haven’t already). Every day, more and more animals are killed for trophies. By removing yourself from the industry, you are saving one life a day.