The elephants have arrived in Norwich

Victoria Leggett They are usually more at home in Africa but these baby elephants have been welcomed to Norwich with open arms. The 53 fibreglass animals, which are dotted around the city, went on view for the first time today and brought smiles to the faces of their many admirers.

Victoria Leggett

They are usually more at home in Africa but these baby elephants have been welcomed to Norwich with open arms. The 53 fibre-glass animals, which are dotted around the city, went on view for the first time today and brought smiles to the faces of their many admirers.

They are here as part of a public art event called Go Elephants, which is jointly run by Wild in Art and the Forum Trust, to showcase Norwich's creativity and will be on show until August 31.

Visitors to the city can spot them from Carrow Road to Cow Tower and Aylsham Road to Earlham Road, as well as all the main attractions in the city centre.

Each sculpture has been painted by a Norwich-based artist and sponsored by one of the city's businesses. The designs cannot contain any logos or brands so the sponsors have had to find clever ways to reflect their companies.

In the autumn, many of the elephants will be auctioned off and 75pc of the money raised will be donated to The Born Free Foundation and CLIC Sargent.

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Norwich is the only place in the UK to host the elephants this year.

The EDP went onto the streets of Norwich to see what people thought of the city's new attraction.

Constance Tyce, a retired teacher from Sheringham, was in visiting the city with her grandsons Freddy, two, and Max, nine months. She said: “We have seen eight so far. The double-decker one outside the forum was Freddy's favourite. We saw the blank ones when they were first doing them so we have been looking forward to seeing them. It keeps the children focused and I think it's educational. We thought what we would do is to take photographs of them because we can talk about them afterwards.”

Dennis and Margaret Morgan, from Norwich, had popped into the city for a coffee. Mr Morgan said: “It's an elephant - what more can I say? It draws people's interest and it adds to the environment. I think it's great, it's lovely for children. Norwich needs brightening up.”

Rebecca Pearson, 36, a health care support worker from Sprowston, was in search of the elephants with her son Archie Thompson, 19 months. She said: “We are loving these elephants. We've seen seven or eight and we are going on an ele-hunt. I didn't find out about it until this morning, I was going past on the bus at Tombland and I thought 'wow'. People want to climb on them and people will clamber on them. They just cannot help it - especially on a Saturday night.”

Ron Moore, 77, from Hellesdon, said: “I've only just seen them and they are brilliant. The city is waking up, it's got everything to offer. We have found five so far, so we've got 45 to go. It's bright and cheerful and that's what people want. It's all been thought out really well.”

Rosemary Evans, a 69-year-old retired educational therapist, is staying at Barnham Broom while she visits from Chelmsford. She was having a manicure on an elephant in Jarrolds. She said: “I think it's wonderful. I've just seen the others around the city and they look lovely. I came here about a month ago and had my nails done - this time it's a different table. It was a lovely surprise, I like anything that's new. We're going to have to try to see more.”

Annette Wickham, from Dussindale, is a nail technician at Jarrolds. She said: “This is my first client and I'm here all day. Everybody who goes past is interested in it. It's hopefully going to bring a lot of business. It's going to be a talking point. I was concerned because I couldn't visualise how it was going to be and how I could work on it but I was pleasantly surprised. I hadn't seen it before today.”