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NYC Zoos Helping to Break World Record for Elephant Origami Display

By Angely Mercado | August 13, 2016 11:13am
 An African baby elephant running to a watering hole.
An African baby elephant running to a watering hole.
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Shutterstock/Four Oaks

It's an pachyderm-sized task.

In honor of World Elephant Day, Zoos across the city are helping the Wildlife Conservation Society break a Guinness World Record for the largest display of origami elephants.

The WCS aims to fold 35,000 paper elephants — one for every African elephant illegally poached each year for their ivory tusks — to break the current record of 33,764, set by the Zoological Society of London's Whipsnade Zoo in 2014.

“This simple gesture sends a powerful message to the world that we are taking a stand together to save these majestic animals,” said John Calvelli, a WCS spokesman and director of the 96 Elephants Campaign, an organization raising awareness for what they say are the 96 African elephants killed daily.

More than 40 different zoos across the country are involved in making the display, including the Bronx Zoo, Queens Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo and Prospect Park Zoo. The effort is in support of World Elephant Day, which was on Aug. 12.

Anyone who wants to participate can visit "folding stations" at those locations, which will be set up for volunteers. The group also posted origami templates on their website for those participating. Kathi Schaeffer, a WCS spokeswoman, said that the organization has already received 3,000 folded elephants by mail. 

Anyone who isn't near a WCS zoo or park can send the folded elephants to the Bronx office by Sep. 16.