For World Elephant Day, WCS’s Zoos Try to Break Jumbo-Sized Record

NEW YORK (August 11, 2016) – Just in time for World Elephant Day, this Friday, August 12th, WCS’s 96 Elephants campaign announced an ambitious effort to break the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the largest display of origami elephants to draw attention to the plight of Africa’s elephants, which continue to be wiped out by ivory poachers.

From now until September 12th, WCS’s 96 Elephants campaign will urge individuals and organizations to make any of four different origami prototypes in an effort to break the current GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the largest display of origami elephants currently held by the ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in Great Britain, which displayed 33,764 origami elephants in 2014.

The goal of 96 Elephants is to fold 35,000 of them – the number of African elephants killed each year for their tusks. To see templates and instructions visit 96 Elephants special webpage on the challenge.

The goal is to honor and generate awareness about the elephant crisis and the potential for this iconic species to go extinct within the decade due to illegal poaching for their ivory tusks. The campaign is partnering with other non-profits, Origami USA, Origamido, 40 zoos around the country, the Children’s Museum of Art and the Boy Scouts, Tommy Hilfiger and many more.

At WCS’s Zoos – including the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo and Prospect Park Zoo – along with partners zoos, zoogoers can participate by creating their own origami elephants. Partners around the country are setting up folding stations and encouraging visitors and members to be part of this historic achievement by contributing to the 35,000 goal.

“96 Elephants and its partners are attempting to break the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the largest display of origami elephants to honor the 35,000 elephants that are lost each year,” said John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and Director of the 96 Elephants Campaign. “This simple gesture sends a powerful message to the world that we are taking a stand together to save these majestic animals.”

This year has seen major victories for elephants around the world ranging from the final passage of the U.S. federal ban on the sale of ivory, to the world’s largest ivory burn taking place in Kenya, to a state ban passing in Hawaii.

Next month, conservationists and world leaders will gather for the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii where a resolution will be voted on calling for governments around the world to ban their domestic ivory markets.