I am a world traveller & a mom of two, (8 & 6). I love to meet people, and am fascinated that there are 7 billion stories out there to be explored. I think Melbourne is the most happening city to live in with all the fun activities around town.
Published June 13th 2013
Babies are adorable, even in the animal kingdom. Among the most popular baby animals is the elephant. In many countries, elephants are revered to the point of worship (India, etc.) and hold festivals in honour of this magnificent animal. Their beauty inspires painters and sculptors to dedicate their work to these creatures, and so paintings of elephants can be traced back to as far as cave art through to modern day.
Melbournians are especially attached to this animal and the proof is in the flocks of visitors going to the Melbourne Zoo to see the three baby elephants that have been born there since 2006 under the breeding program, the most recent, Sanook, being born in March 2013.
As part of the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Melbourne Zoo, 50 baby glass-fiber elephant scupltures were painted and displayed around town in 2012, which were then taken back to the Zoo for display before being auctioned to raise funds for the zoos' conservation work. The full details of who these elephants now belong to can be found here.
The Elephant Display at the Melbourne Zoo in 2012 (Image courtesy Melbourne Zoo website)
I was inspired to write this article when I recently bumped into one of these exquisitely painted elephants that was purchased by the City of Melbourne, and has now found its home in the Ian Potter's Foundation Children's Garden at the Royal Botanic Garden Melbourne. The title of this artwork is "Endangered Asia" and as the name suggests, the main objective is to raise awareness about the endangered species of animals in Asia and around the world.
'Endangered Asia' resides at the Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden in the Bamboo Forest
There is another elephant watching over the children's playground at Birrarung Marr, which will take your breath away. The stunning piece of art is made with coloured glass mosaic and is absolutely marvelous. The mosaic sculpture is called "Mali - protector of all animals" by Deborah Halpern.
Elephants are popular with adults and children alike, but baby elephants take the cake, and one cannot help sigh an "ooh" and an "aah" when a baby elephant is featured in a photograph or a video. My love for these animals began on a trip to Kenya, while we were on a safari tour.
I am not alone in my fascination with elephants. Their drawings can often be spotted in children's classrooms, when they are asked to draw or colour their favourite animal. And of course, there are numerous photobooks that feature elephants and their babies, which make for excellent reading, magnifient viewing and awe-inspiring facts of life.
photo taken on Safari in Africa
Artwork by a grade 1 student
Do you know of any elephant paintings or sculptures that are exhibited in different parts of town? Share your views and favourite photos of these magestic giants of the animal kingdom. If you also share the love of these animals, find out one of the ways in which you can help them at this website.