Artist wants to build life size elephant to walk through Norwich streets

Beau Townshend is aiming to make a life size elephant. Picture Beau Townshend

Beau Townshend is aiming to make a life size elephant. Picture Beau Townshend - Credit: Beau Townshend

A special effects artist is hoping to raise awareness of the plight of the endangered Sumatran elephant by building a life-size version of the mammal and walking it through the streets of Norwich.

From our archives: Elephants march through Norwich on April1 1952. Picture Archant Library.

From our archives: Elephants march through Norwich on April1 1952. Picture Archant Library. - Credit: Archant

Beau Townshend, 24, of Norwich, has launched a crowdfunding page to help make his dream a reality after he came up with the idea while studying at university in Southampton.

He has already built a head for the elephant, named Patrick after his late father, but his aim is to build a life-size fully functioning elephant to walk through the streets of cities across the country and raise awareness and funds for the Elephant Family whose mission is to save Asian elephants.

Mr Townshead said: 'I've always had an interest in animals and nature and when I heard that the Sumatran elephant was threatened with extinction I wanted to do something to help so I thought marching a life size elephant through major cities would do that.

'I took the elephant head along with me to do a talk at City College and the reaction I got reminded me of why I had the idea in the first place and has reenergised me to get it done.'

He needs to raise £3,000 to cover the costs of a workshop to build Patrick along with the materials, equipment and time needed to complete the project.

The Sumatran elephant population has declined by 80pc in less than 25 years, landing the species on the critically endangered list, and Mr Townshead hopes that Patrick can help to highlight this issue.

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'I strongly feel Patrick has the potential to make a memorable impact on the public; drawing much needed attention and funding to combat the dangers of deforestation and poaching among one of the earths most magnificent creatures,' he said.

• To donate to the project visit the Indiegogo page.

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