BRONX, NY – November 17, 2016 – It’s official! WCS’s (Wildlife Conservation Society) Bronx Zoo is home to the world’s largest display of origami elephants and has been certified by GUINNESS WORLD

In total, 204,481 origami elephants were sent to the Bronx Zoo from all 50 states, 40 countries, and 45 AZA zoos. More than 78,564 were mounted and included in the record setting display. The official GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS count certifies the new record at 78,564.

The previous record was set in 2014 by the Zoological Society of London/Whipsnade Zoo in Great Britain, which displayed 33,764 origami elephants.

The Bronx Zoo display is part of WCS’s 96 Elephants campaign. The origami elephants came from an incredibly diverse array of folders including a 109 year old woman, students from a school of the deaf, as well as participants from Iran, Kazakhstan, Egypt, and 37 other countries.

“96 Elephants and its partners have broken the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for largest display of origami elephants to honor the 35,000 elephants that are lost each year to poaching,” said John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and Director of the 96 Elephants Campaign. “WCS’s Bronx Zoo received these gems of folded paper from all over the world and assembled them into this gorgeous display as a simple gesture that sends a powerful message to the world that we are standing together to save these majestic animals.”

The successful attempt was made on Thursday, November 17, the twelfth annual GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS DAY, an international celebration of record breaking which unites the globe as thousands of people come together to attempt to secure a prestigious GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title.

The record setting display will not be open to the public due to the sheer size, but many of the origami elephants will be incorporated into a holiday exhibit in Zoo Center for public viewing through the month of December. The exhibit will demonstrate the overwhelming global support generated by the 96 Elephants campaign for efforts to save elephants from extinction by ending the ivory trade.

WCS’s 96 Elephants campaign worked with OrigamiUSA to organize the record setting effort with additional support from Asia Society, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Boy Scouts of America Greater New York Councils, Children’s Museum of the Arts, Girl Scout Council of Greater New York, Japan Society, Origamido, and Tuttle Publishing.

Others can continue to raise awareness about the elephant poaching crisis by creating customized digital origami elephant at


For more on why WCS embarked on this project, check out the most recent post on the WCS Wild View photo blog at