WORCESTERSHIRE’S elephant community have proved themselves to be friendly, gentle giants by welcoming a calf from a new herd to their home.
African elephants from West Midland Safari Park played host to Khushee, an Asian elephant sculpture, whose herd will parade through the city’s streets this summer as part of a mammoth art trail.
Worcester’s Big Parade will see around 65 elephants, large and small, dotted around streets for eight weeks from July 12, before each large sculpture is auctioned to raise money for St Richard’s Hospice.
Alongside adult elephant sculptures, there will be an array of elephant calves on display which will be carefully designed and painted by Worcestershire schools and community groups.
As presenting partner for the interactive event, West Midland Safari Park will support the creation of the parade’s education pack offering fun and engaging elephant facts. They will also showcase their classroom facilities at the safari park, which are available to schools who wish to experience curriculum-linked, hands on activities and sessions to suit interactive learning opportunities for all ages.
Chris Kelly, managing director of West Midland Safari Park, said: “When we heard about Worcester’s Big Parade, we knew we had to get involved as it brings together businesses, local communities and schools, all for a great cause.
“We thought the theme linked perfectly with our herd of three African elephants at the park and the news of their brand-new habitat.
A not-for-profit organisation working to support the interests of the county’s Chinese community is the latest sponsor to join the trail.
Worcestershire Chinese Association is to sponsor a large and small elephant sculpture as part of Worcester’s Big Parade and will use the platform to promote Chinese culture and help bridge gaps in language and understanding between the Chinese and other local communities.
The association’s sponsorship of an elephant calf means that students from Christopher Whitehead Language College and Sixth Form will get to take part in the art event, designing and decorating a baby elephant before their masterpiece goes on display in Worcester.
Frankie Tsang, chairman of Worcestershire Chinese Association, said: “Having been involved in the giraffe trail in 2018 and seeing first-hand how it brought our diverse city together, I’m really delighted that our organisation is playing a part.
“We’re also very proud sponsors of a small elephant which means that young people from the city can experience this very special community event too.”
While all elephant calves have now been adopted by local schools and community groups, a few large elephant sponsorships remain.