Whipsnade Zoo is attempting to smash the Guinness World Record for the greatest number of origami elephants ever displayed.
It hopes to display 30,000 of them at its Elephantastic weekend on September 20 and 21 – one to represent every Asian elephant left in the wild.
Marking the world-wide Elephant Appreciation Weekend, Elephantastic raises money for elephant conservation and research projects through fun family activities, fascinating talks and unforgettable elephant encounters.
Visitors and keepers at the Zoo have been frantically folding colourful origami elephants, while stuffed packages of the paper creatures have been arriving every day from supporters all over the world.
Jordan Christmas, Whipsnade Zoo’s project co-ordinator said: “We’ve been really touched by the hundreds of origami elephants we’ve received every day in the post, from all over the world. Many have come with beautiful letters of support in which people say how much they care about the plight of elephants and the need for conservation projects.
“In Ireland, origami artist Michaela Bertsch organised a children’s workshop at which over 800 elephants were folded for the cause, and another big folding event was held in South Africa. We’ve also received elephants from Russia, Australia, Spain, Japan, Germany, Thailand, The Netherlands, Singapore, Hungary, Argentina, France, Italy, the UK and all over the US.
“We’re confident that we’ll be able to trample the Guinness World Record, as we’re already well on our way to the 30,000 mark and I’m sure all of the visitors at the Zoo’s Elephantastic weekend will help out too.”