Page last updated at 13:30 GMT, Tuesday, 4 May 2010 14:30 UK

Model baby elephants to appear across London

Decorative model elephants stand in Trafalgar Square for a photocall
Elephant parades have already been held in Antwerp and Rotterdam, and after London the elephants will move to New York and Milan

A colourful herd of 260 life-sized model baby elephants will appear across London to raise money for charity.

Artists including Sacha Jafri and Sam Hacking will decorate each of the 1.5m (4.9ft)-high fibreglass models, to be displayed in public places from May.

Then on 30 June, the charity Elephant Family will auction the models, and hope to raise about £2m to protect India's elephants.

The animals will be placed at landmarks including Buckingham Palace.

700-carat emerald

They will also appear in areas such as Trafalgar Square, Parliament Square and on the South Bank.

Jewellery designer Sabine Roemer dressed her elephant with a 700-carat emerald on its forehead.

She said it was "amazing" to see her completed work in Trafalgar Square.

"We started talking about it a year ago," she said. "I wanted to have a very traditional Indian-looking elephant and to make a jewellery piece."

'Election elephants'

Artist Sacha Jafri stood next to his gold elephant emblazoned with hearts.

"I had the birth of my little baby during all of this so it has these heart motifs," he said.

The artworks include three anonymously-decorated 'election elephants' with boxing gloves, representing the Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Conservatives.

Elephant parades have already been held in Antwerp and Rotterdam, and after London the elephants will move to New York and Milan.

The parade follows the format of Cow Parade, which began in Zurich in 1998 to increase tourism and raise money for charity.

In 2002 decorated cows were displayed in London and then sold for £350,000 for ChildLine.

An Elephant Family spokeswoman said: "The elephants will appear overnight to cheer London up and raise some vital funds."

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