Registered in 2002 Elephant Family are a vibrant charity with big plans and they are the UK’s biggest supporter of Asian elephant conservation.
Led by Mark Shand, Elephant Family is already active in five countries and has invested over 4.7m into Asian elephant conservation. Tuesday saw the Official Launch of the event in Edinburgh ‘Jungle City’ which will begin in August of this year.
‘Jungle City’ will be the charity’s second major event. Speaking of his intentions for the event Mark Shand explained that he was attracted to Edinburgh as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and as a city with one of the best arts festivals in the world he hopes that it will prove well suited to such a unique and inspirational charity.
Jungle City follows in the footsteps of previous phenomenally successful art events organized in aid of Elephant Family, most recently the Elephant Parade in London which last year raised over £4m.
As Mark says “We have a dream to turn Edinburgh into a jungle, to fill it to the brim with iconic animals and replace the sounds of the city with birdsong and monkey chatter. Park benches, fountains, pavements and traffic lights will become perches, watering holes, hunting and grazing grounds”.
‘Jungle City’, Scotland’s biggest outdoor art event was unveiled this week at the launch, hosted in the Bed and Breakfast Hotel 1 Royal Circus.
The event in Edinburgh later this year will feature more than 120 life-sized sculptures of some of the planet’s most endangered species, with the aim of raising in excess of £1m to ensure their survival.
Members of the charity explained the inspiration behind the sculptures which are individually designed by local and well-known artists.
Each artist and designer has been given an individual jungle animal and asked to create something completely unique. The elephants will be clad in green topiary and dressed in ‘Conservation Couture’ fashion blankets. All other animals will be painted using generously donated Farrow & Ball paint.
The first creations for this year were unveiled on Tuesday, including an array of eye catching painted tigers, orangutans, hornbills, crocodiles and topiary elephants.
Companies and individuals can sponsor the animals and they will be sold at a glittering auction event on 29th September in Edinburgh. Elephant Family hopes to attract high profile sponsorship and offer companies the opportunity to have their logos on their chosen animals.
Football Clubs Celtic and Rangers have each sponsored tigers bearing their colours. Ally McCoist, Rangers Assistant Manger said “Rangers Football Club is proud to be associated with Jungle City and support the work of Elephant Family. The forest homes of a number of animals – including tigers, Asian elephants, crocodiles and orangutans – are at risk and charities such as the Elephant Family can play a major role in their protection.”
The animals, which are destined to become highly collectible works of art, will grace The Royal Botanical Gardens from mid-August before being unleashed onto the streets of Edinburgh throughout September.
The exhibition will see Scotland’s capital become obsessed with finding every last creature with open-top safari jeeps on hand to help tourists and residents spot the wildlife. For six glorious weeks, Edinburgh will be transformed into a jungle with park benches, fountains, pavements and traffic lights becoming perches, watering holes, hunting and grazing grounds.
A total of 6 conservation charities stand to benefit from the sale of the animal sculptures, including: Elephant Family, Royal Botanical Gardens, Edinburgh, Care for the Wild International, the Orangutan Foundation, the Sumatran Orangutan Society and TRAFFIC International.
The founders were initially inspired to save the endangered Asian elephant from extinction, however the charity has grown to include tigers, orang-utans and other jungle animals in its scope of endangered jungle animals.
At least year’s event in London Elephant Family employed 260 colourful decorated animal sculptures to decorate the urban environment, a memorable and special way of drawing much needed attention to the plight of endangered species.
Their creative approach to raising funds has attracted the patriotism of celebrities and Royalty, last year’s wild event attracted the support of Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice and Elizabeth Hurley made a vivid presence at the event. The actress Goldie Hawn is an Elephant Family Patron, so saying “I am a proud Patron of Elephant Family; their hearts are in the right place, doing the good work. I urge everyone to support them by getting involved with Jungle City. What a magical adventure with real purpose”.
At the launch on Tuesday guests were treated to a video link expression of support from HRH Prince Charles, speaking of Elephant Family he says “This remarkable initiative aims to help alleviate the crisis facing so many species on our planet today … Your generous support of Elephant Family and Jungle City in Edinburgh will quite simply make all the difference so I can only urge you to support this innovative campaign in any way you can”.
Schools across Scotland are invited to decorate a hornbill, tiger or orangutan, interested parties should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information or to sponsor an animal contact Tamara Whitson, Jungle City Event Manager, at email@example.com
or call 07918 878 782