You have probably seen their colour-ful elephant statues in Thailand, online, or even in your home coun-try, Elephant Parade is a social enterprise that was born in Chiang Mai and it runs the world's largest art exhibition of decorated elephant statues. Created by artists and celebrities, each Elephant Parade statue is a unique art piece. The life-size, baby elephant statues are exhibited in international cities across the world and raise awareness of the need for elephant conservation.
The idea behind Elephant Parade was the initiative of father and son Marc and Mike Spits. On a visit in Chiang Mai, they met "Mosha", a baby elephant who had lost part of her leg after stepping on a landmine. Mosha inspired Marc and Mike to establish Elephant Parade: by creating outdoor art exhibitions of elephant statues decorated by famous artists and celebrities, awareness is raised and funds are generated in aid of Mosha and other elephants.
"We wanted to help Mosha and create some-thing structural that would be profitable in the long run. This is the only way in which we can provide the elephant a sustainable future."
-Mike Spits, Elephant Parade Founder.
Since then, parades of these beautiful elephants have taken place all around the world. Millions of people have visited Elephant Parade exhibitions, about 1,500 artists have participated world-wide and more than 1,800 unique elephant sculptures have been created. Some of the most famous artists and supporters of the parades include: The British Royal Family, Sir Richard Branson and daughter, Celine Dion, Phil Colins, Katy Perry and many, many more.
Elephant Parades in Phuket & Chiang Mai
Here is the great news: Thailand will be hosting two Elephant Parades this year! The first one will be in Phuket, from July 8th to August 20th 2023; and the second in Chiang Mai in November and December 2023. These will be two of the biggest Elephant Parades in Asia since the Covid pandemic, with more than 30 life-size baby elephants showcased in each cities, lots of activities, workshops and events to join. Whether you are in Phuket or in Chiang Mai, this summer or at the end of the year, don't miss these opportunities to meet their vibrant elephants and make some selfies!
Get Artsy in Chiang Mai!
As Chiang Mai is where Elephant Parade was born, it is also where the production center is located. Visit Elephant Parade Land and discover the behind-the-scene's production process. Friendly staff will guide you through the factory, show you the library and the amazing museum. This is a chance to meet the talented artists at work, witness the different processes involved, and experience the real handwork that is the basis of the Elephant Parade replicas. Children will also love walking through the garden with stunning full size baby elephant statues and even paint their very own elephant replica during a workshop. Prices to join a workshop are THB 600 to paint a 10cm blank elephant and THB 1,000 for painting a 15cm blank elephant. Let's paint a brighter future!
Mosha was just 7 months old when she suffered a landmine injury whilst walking near the Burmese border. This severe injury led to the loss of her leg under her knee which, unfortunately, puts extreme strain on the other three limbs and her spine as she continues to grow.
Mosha was the first elephant in the world to receive and use a functioning prosthetic leg. With the help of this prosthetic leg, she is able to walk, but requires a new mould every year that she grows. Elephants grow every year up to 20 years of age. These new fittings are a huge effort and expense as they require continued pioneering in a new area of elephant and veterinary medicine.
Given the extent of her injury, Mosha will remain at Friends of the Asian Elephant’s hospital as a permanent resident.
ELEPHANT PARADE LAND :
180/9 Moo7, San Phi Suea, Muang, Chiang Mai 50300.
Open Mondays to Fridays. 9AM to 5PM.
Tel. 062-918 9621