If you’re passing Cadogan Place North Garden, keep an eye out for a remarkable and unlikely visitor. In the heart of the garden, a family of life-sized elephants has taken up residence, just a few of the of a 50-strong herd that will be roaming the wilds of Chelsea until June 6, 2021.
Each member of the herd is modelled on a real wild elephant that roams the Nilgiri Hills of Southern India, which are covered mostly by towns, tea and coffee plantations and patches of forest.
The elephants are sustainably made by a team of Adivasi artisans from Tamil Nadu from dried lantana camara stalks, an invasive flowering weed native to South America that was introduced to India by British tea planters as a decorative plant in the 1800s. It now chokes 30% of India’s already limited protected reserves, severely damaging the forest ecosystem.
Other members of the herd can be found on Duke of York Square and the King’s Road, raising awareness and funds for CoExistence, an initiative from charity Elephant Family that hopes to highlight the struggle of India’s wild elephants, who coexist alongside communities and populations that are denser than anywhere else in the world.
Click here for more details on CoExistence and to make a donation to the cause.
Cadogan Place North Garden, London, SW1X 9RX