Baby African Elephant by artists Gillie and Marc

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NAME
Masekela

TITLE
Love The Baby African Elephant

GENDER
Male

AGE
1

FOUND
Africa

CONSERVATION STATUS
Vulnerable

This baby boy loves to play but must always make sure his mum is close at hand. He is still learning to use his trunk and sometimes likes to suck it for comfort. At the moment, his biggest threat is losing his mother, a problem for many babies left orphaned by poachers. Poaching has left his species vulnerable to extinction.

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 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. 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 and 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! 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

Based off real animals that Gillie and Marc met while travelling, the public will be able to meet individual animals. 

With public art, more people will come into contact with these sculptures, will stop and consider them, will take a photograph, and will discuss this with their friends and family. Through this increased exposure, the message of love, family, and conservation will be spread much further than any piece of art in a gallery ever could. It will bring people into close contact and will help them to fall in love. With love comes a greater urge to want to create a change and save all endangered animals. 

​The sculpture will be aligned with the hashtag #LoveTheLast to raise unparalleled awareness about the sculpture’s cause across the globe.

To help protect these animals, please donate to the WWF: https://www.wwf.sg/

PARTNER



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.

The husband-and-wife duo are on a mission to make art for a better tomorrow. They are best known for their beloved characters, Rabbitwoman and Dogman, who tell the autobiographical tale of two opposites coming together as best friends and soul mates.

Gillie and Marc are also passionate eco-warriors and have dedicated their lives to protecting nature.

Gillie grew up with the wildlife in Zambia and Marc studied chimpanzees in Tanzania as a young man. Over time, the artists developed a deep appreciation for all living things and a desire to preserve the magnificence of the natural world. 

Through their art, Gillie and Marc aim to transform passive audiences into passionate advocates for animal conservation. Their mission is to use their work as a platform to continue spreading awareness about endangerment, which will ultimately lead to change and save species from extinction.

Their art has raised hundreds of thousands in donations for the many wildlife charities and causes they support through their project Love The Last.

Please follow @gillieandmarcart 

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

SPONSORED BY

G-Family
Vinata, Rahul, Udayan, Daita and Stevie Goswamy

SOURCES

https://www.wwf.sg/
https://www.iucn.org/
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/
https://www.awf.org/  

NAME
Imani

TITLE
Love The Young African Elephant

GENDER
Female

AGE
2

FOUND
Africa

CONSERVATION STATUS
Vulnerable

This little baby is a bit of a heart throb. She’s always getting into trouble yet her mum and aunties can’t ever be too mad at her, she’s far too cute! She loves nothing more than to dive head first into a puddle, chase an unsuspecting bird, or grab an aunties tail. Despite all the fun she knows that growing up will require her to be a bit less fool-hardy and a lot more cautious. There are people out there always on the lookout for elephants. She must be ready.

The gigantic ears of an elephant are not only good for hearing. They also radiate heat, working as giant air conditioning units. By flapping their ears they release the heat, cooling themselves down. Their tusks are also curious. They start as upper incisors that appear around 2 years of age and grow throughout their life, growing up to 8 feet in length. They’re perfect for digging up roots, stripping bark from trees, and taking on a rival. 

These giants are herbivores. In other words, they’re strictly vegetarian. They munch on a wide variety of plant materials, such as fruit, bark, leaves, grass, and small trees. They need this variety as an elephant can eat over 400 kg per day. That’s about 4-7% of their body weight! Using their prehensile trunk, they expertly navigate their target, picking off leaves, tearing off branches, and ripping out chunks of grass.

Female elephants become ready to mate at around 15-16 years of age and can keep reproducing into their 40s. Males on the other hand, typically don’t become a father until they’re in their 20s or 30s. Competition is tough and females tend to prefer an older, larger male in their prime, usually around 40-50 years. Musth is also an important factor. This is a period when the male has a large increase in their reproductive hormone - testosterone. They become highly aggressive, will stop feeding, and produce secretions from their swollen temporal glands. Musth usually last for about 6-12 weeks but it has been known to happen for a full year!

While poaching to supply the ivory trade is the African elephant's greatest threat, habitat loss and fragmentation is also a huge problem. With human populations increasing, so too does their needs for land; for agriculture, settlements, and development. Because of this, elephants struggle to find enough supplies to sustain them. The ancient paths they follow, paths that have been passed down the generations from matriarch to calf, are being intercepted by these developments. And with the destruction of their habitat, they’re also made more open and accessible to poachers.

HOW TO HELP 

Based off real animals that Gillie and Marc met while travelling, the public will be able to meet individual animals. 

With public art, more people will come into contact with these sculptures, will stop and consider them, will take a photograph, and will discuss this with their friends and family. Through this increased exposure, the message of love, family, and conservation will be spread much further than any piece of art in a gallery ever could. It will bring people into close contact and will help them to fall in love. With love comes a greater urge to want to create a change and save all endangered animals. 

​The sculpture will be aligned with the hashtag #LoveTheLast to raise unparalleled awareness about the sculpture’s cause across the globe.

To help protect these animals, please donate to the WWF: https://www.wwf.sg/

PARTNER



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.

The husband-and-wife duo are on a mission to make art for a better tomorrow. They are best known for their beloved characters, Rabbitwoman and Dogman, who tell the autobiographical tale of two opposites coming together as best friends and soul mates.

Gillie and Marc are also passionate eco-warriors and have dedicated their lives to protecting nature.

Gillie grew up with the wildlife in Zambia and Marc studied chimpanzees in Tanzania as a young man. Over time, the artists developed a deep appreciation for all living things and a desire to preserve the magnificence of the natural world. 

Through their art, Gillie and Marc aim to transform passive audiences into passionate advocates for animal conservation. Their mission is to use their work as a platform to continue spreading awareness about endangerment, which will ultimately lead to change and save species from extinction.

Their art has raised hundreds of thousands in donations for the many wildlife charities and causes they support through their project Love The Last.

Please follow @gillieandmarcart 

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