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Today, the Duchess of Cornwall, Joint President with the Prince of Wales of Elephant Family, and sixty children from local schools came to Duke of York Square, to unwrap the magnificent 10ft tall Tara. This was the latest of several events to mark the Travels To My Elephant campaign, Elephant Family’s magical journey to raise awareness and elicit support for the endangered Asian elephant.
Kicked off by Philip Colbert, this morning’s unveiling celebrated the beginning of a series of readings from the late Mark Shand’s bestselling book ‘Travels on My Elephant’. Throughout June, Britain’s best-loved personalities will read to hundreds of London’s children, inspiring the next generation of conservationists. Open to the general public, from Thursday 11th-30th June, these ‘Elephant Story-times’ promise to be both educational and entertaining, with speakers to include , Princesses Beatrice & Eugenie, Ayesha Shand, Stephen Fry and Simon & Annabel Eliot.
A 20 strong fleet of vibrant ‘Travels to My Elephant’ rickshaws, launched by Goldie Hawn on 1st June 2015, are currently buzzing around the streets of London. Today the rickshaws, designed by a host of international artists, milliners and fashion houses, including Diane Von Furstenberg, Carolina Herrera, Mulberry and Benjamin Shine, gathered at Duke of York Square to meet London’s favourite elephant: Tara. The fleet highlights an epic 500km race of autorickshaws to meet the real-life Tara in Kipling Camp, taking place in India in November 2015.
Tara is a real Asian elephant living in Madhya Pradesh, India. Rescued by adventurer and conservationist, Mark Shand, together they went on a 1,000-mile journey across India, inspiring Mark to write ‘Travels on My Elephant’ and launch Elephant Family.
Standing alongside Tara is her smaller companion, Ella. Children across the UK are invited to submit a design for this baby elephant, as part of the Ella_phant Competition. The winning design will be interpreted by a top creative who will paint Ella in her party dress. Resplendent in her new outfit, Ella will travel to Sotheby’s in New York City to be auctioned on October 27th to benefit Elephant Family.
A selection of mini-elephant models will be available for purchase at various Duke of York Square retailers throughout June (further details to be published on this website shortly).
Together Tara and Ella will stand with our readers during Elephant Story-times, which are open to all school-children and parents.
More than just a gift, Tara and Ella are a symbol of the next generation of elephants who will thrive with the help of our children. As part of the inspirational ‘Travels to My Elephant’ campaign, which aims to raise £1 million for Elephant Family, the Ella_phant competition and Elephant Story-times will allow future generations to carry on enjoying the world’s largest and most loved elephant – just as Mark did.