For World Elephant Day 2021 we wanted to relive the magic from CoExistence by introducing you to some of the real-life counterparts of the herds that migrated through London’s Royal Parks this summer, helping to raise £3m for human-wildlife coexistence projects.
Created in partnership with The Real Elephant Collective each member of the CoExistence herd was modelled on a living elephant from the Nilgiri Hills of Southern India, each with a distinct personality and set of characteristics known intimately by the indigenous communities that live alongside them.
Without further ado, we are delighted to introduce you to:
Mukt – The Bachelor Boys Herd sponsored by Truefitt & Hill
This is Mukt, an adolescent male famed for his unusually large appetite! Here he is eating some delicious grass.
Elephants spend a large part of their day eating grass, tree bark, plants, fruit, and roots which provide a varied source of nutrients. They can eat up to 300kg in a day and in doing so maintain rich biodiversity throughout the forest as they help to spread a wide variety of seeds.
Mukt was immortalised by the creative genius of lead designer at The Real Elephant Collective, Shubhra Nayar:
Did you meet Mukt in Green Park?
Banyan – The Tree Trunker Herd sponsored by Nyetimber
Banyan is the matriarch of her herd and leads them through the hills to find the best spots to eat. Elephants use higher altitude grasslands the most during monsoon season where it is cooler and more comfortable.
Banyan was at the front of the traffic-stopping stampede of CoExistence elephants that crossed The Mall on 15th May. After that she led her herd to their new residence on the Green Park Broadwalk.
Karnataka – The Climate Coolers Herd sponsored by Petersham Nurseries
This is Karnataka, an elephant known for her maternal instinct. Here you can see her exhibiting a behaviour called ‘allomothering’ in which female elephants and matriarchs share parenting duties of the younger herd members.
Karnataka made it into the headlines when she burst onto the London scene as part of the migration across The Mall (the lighter coloured elephant towards the right of the above image).
Manban – The Original Dwellers Herd sponsored by Savills
Manban is a member of the Original Dwellers herd, and is often seen casually standing in forest grasses bordering highways or town paths, bathing himself in mud, foraging and sometimes even lying down and napping, while little children stand by and giggle at his snores.
Here he is with his outstretched trunk ready to grasp at anything tasty – just like in the wild!
Each of these elephants were recreated by the incredibly talented team at The Real Elephant Collective, led by Shubhra Nayar and co-created by Ruth Ganesh. We absolutely adore every single member of the CoExistence herd and if you love them as much as we do perhaps you’d like to keep one forever?
Make this the best ever World Elephant Day and head to the CoExistence website for more information on buying a sculpture!