EDITION 1 - SINGAPORE - 19 May 2023 - 18 May 2024
Gardens By The Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953
Visit the sculpture, click for map >
EDITION 2 - MELBOURNE - PERMANENT
Werribee Zoo, K Rd, Werribee South VIC 3030
Visit the sculpture, click for map >
Love The African Forest Elephant
This matriarch has lived a good, long life and she still has a lot left in her! At the age of 50, she is the head of her family - responsible for their protection, leading them towards, food, water, and survival. She has been taught the skills and path that she must follow by her elders and now it is her turn.
Unfortunately, the ever-present threat of humans worries her. It seems that poachers are always close and other residents don’t want them near their homes. She’s running out of places she can go.
The African elephant is the largest land animal in the world and wanders across 37 countries in Africa. There are two subspecies, the Savanna (or bush) elephant and the Forest elephant. Forest elephants are slightly smaller and live in the forests of the Congo Basin. African elephants live in herds led by a matriarch, the biggest and oldest female who looks after her herd and leads them to water holes. Adult males tend to live alone or occasionally join an all-male group.
Elephants have the longest pregnancy of any other mammal, nearly 22 months. Not too surprisingly the baby is huge, weighing 200 pounds at birth and measures around 3 feet tall. Elephants don’t have to worry about being a single parent, they have a system called allomothering. This means that not only the mother but all the young females in the herd will look after the baby together. For the first 2 years of their life, the baby will suckle milk from its mother, a whopping 13 litres a day! Babies don’t understand the purpose of their trunk at first. They enjoy swinging it around and even suck it like a human baby would suck their thumb. At about 6-8 months old they learn to use it to eat and drink, once they reach a year old, they can do everything they need, like grasping and bathing. The females will stay with the herd forever while the males will set out on their own at around 12-14 years old.
African elephants are a keystone species meaning they are crucial for their environment. They use their tusks to dig up dry riverbeds in the dry season, digging down to the water hidden underneath and creating water holes for others. They are also important for seed dispersal, eating the seeds of different plants and dropping them all over the place in the form of their poop, perfect for regrowth! The forest elephants also make pathways through the trees for other animals as their great size can power through while happily munching on seeds.
The biggest threat to African elephants is poaching for the ivory trade. 55 elephants are killed a day to fuel the ivory industry and orphaned baby elephants don’t stand much of a chance in the wild without their mothers. Unable to care for themselves and left with psychological scars from the traumatic event, orphaned calves would usually die. Habitat loss is also a major problem. In the last 25 years, the world lost a forested area the size of South Africa. Elephants roam up to 80km a day, so this forces them into dangerous and deadly confrontations with humans when they come into these new settlements, especially when an elephant can eat an entire season of crops in one night! The angry farmers will often kill them in retaliation. Drought that has been seen over much of East Africa in the last ten years is also drying up water holes and diminishing their available food, with plants and trees no longer able to flourish in their changing environment.
HOW TO HELP
Inspired by animals that Gillie and Marc met on their travels, we invite the public to discover and interact with these beautiful creatures up close and personal – this allows audiences to connect, take photographs and share their favourite species with friends and family.
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. As one of WWF’s international hubs, WWF-Singapore supports a global network spanning over 100 countries. We work to meet key conservation goals, such as deforestation, haze pollution, food security, sustainable finance, sustainable consumption and illegal wildlife trade.
For more information, visit https://www.wwf.sg
ABOUT GILLIE AND MARC
Gillie and Marc’s highly coveted public artworks can be found worldwide including in New York, London, Singapore, Shanghai, and Sydney. They are Archibald Prize finalists, won the Chianciano Biennale in Italy, took out the Allens People’s Choice Award in 2016 and 2018 and Kids’ Choice Award in the 2016 Sculpture by the Sea and received the Bayside Arts Festival People's Choice Award in 2019 in Sydney.
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If you are interested in buying art related to the Loved the Last March, you will also be directly helping real animals in the wild, with 30% of sales going to WWF to continue their fantastic work for animal conservation. Click here to browse art > https://gillieandmarc.com/collections/love-the-last-march