“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ....Oscar Wilde

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Elephants on Parade...Melbourne Mali

As a child I remember loving our annual zoo trip, but I'd always leave feeling a little bothered about some of the animals and their behaviour. But that was back then...and whether you like zoos or not there's no getting away from the fact that they really have come such along way over the years.
Today the enclosures have such thought and planning behind their construction, food programmes are devised mimicking the animal's natural habits from the wild, toys and interesting environments challenging their minds and improving their well-being. All these positive changes are for the animals better welfare.
I remember when we were in Singapore and my children wanted to visit the zoo, I was rather reluctant to go because I didn't want them to have similar experiences I'd had but I needn't have worried.
Singapore Zoo was incredible and such a positive experience. The main thing that impressed me was the fact that there didn't appear to be any fences or pens. They were very clever in making it appear that the animals were just happy to stay within their boundaries. It was quite unnerving to begin with especially with a very active enquiring 8 year old animal lover and a 6 month old toddler!
One particular event that I remember very clearly was having a huge Elephant walk up behind us with his keeper. It put a whole new meaning to the word 'Walkies'! Thankfully I had my camera and my running shoes to hand...the first to capture this incredible event and the second just in case!!!

Remember that this was quite a few years ago (my toots are now 27 and 20 years old) so to see an elephant just walking through the zoo was a spectacular sight!
This photo is now placed in our 25 year wedding album ~ the one I'm supposed to be finishing, especially as time is marching on and we've now just celebrated our 33rd anniversary. 

I've always loved Elephants so imagine my delight when I heard that Australia's first zoo is delighted to be sharing the fun and excitement of its 150th anniversary with everyone in Melbourne, with the Mali in the City public art event. Mali the baby elephant was born in Melbourne Zoo in October 2010.

Fifty fibreglass models of the famous elephant calf, Mali have been painted by a variety of artists and are now on display on Melbourne city's streets until September 21 as part of the celebrations. The event, run in conjuction with Wild in Art has engaged three-time Archibald Prize finalist, artist David Bromley to be the program's Art Patron. 
Zoos Victoria has also announced a sister event for the major public art event, to engage school students in the celebrations. Every school in Victoria has been given the opportunity to get involved in Mali in my school. Fifty schools will design, paint and exhibit one of fifty mini-Malis alongside others being painted by renowned Australian artists.
We had a trip into the CBD this weekend and I actually managed to spot seven of the statues. Each so unique and vibrant...they really stand out and catch your eye. I was only able to photo two whilst walking ~ the other's I spotted whilst driving around.
I was thinking of trying to track the whole herd because there is an phone app that shows all of their locations but then thought 50 photos might be a little excessive! So here's just two...

They are amazing...

The elephants will begin their great migration to Melbourne Zoo where they will be on display for the entire month of October. 

 My friend J snapped this photo and sent it to me so he could join the herd here...I think this one might be my favourite so far....Thanks J

On 25th October the entire herd will then go under the hammer at an auction event with all proceeds going to Zoos Victoria's conservation work that fights the extinction of animals here in Australia and overseas.
The Zoo is calling for potential buyers to register their interest to attend the Mali in the City Auction via email at maliauction@zoo.org.au
Here's a beautiful video clip of some male bonding...

 (Courtesy of Melbourne Zoo ~ a brilliant video clip....check out much more on their website and see more of Marvellous Mali)
And there's more good news because Mali's Mum is pregnant again!
Dokkoon became the first of her endangered species to give birth at Melbourne Zoo when Mali was born.
Melbourne Zoo Director Kevin Tanner says that Dokkoon has now become the first elephant in Australia to achieve a second pregnancy. He said that ""If all goes smoothly during the 22-month pregnancy, Dokkoon will give birth to a little brother or sister for Mali in November 2013. That calf will be the fourth calf to be born at Melbourne Zoo."
How amazing it that! Obviously Melbourne Zoo has got it right.


  1. Melbourne zoo is doing awesome, I loved watching the video, they seem to be smiling and having so much fun! I need your help naming my art wall in a gallery, if you could pop over for a peek, pick a name and leave me a comment, I'm also having a small prize drawing for everyone who helps me out! waving hi from the hills of North Carolina :)

    1. Don't they just :D
      I'm glad you enjoyed the clip...I thought it was just wonderful to see how gentle they are.
      I'll be popping over a little later to see your art wall....and the names.
      Until then waving hi from a sunny (yep sunny) Melbourne ;D

  2. I once did a safari in Kenya, and at one point we were right in the middle of a herd of about 25 or 30 elephants. It was incredible. They were just grazing away and "chatting" to each other with the occasional rumble or low bellow. They didn't seem to be at all bothered by the presence of humans.

    1. Now that would be awesome and so special to see.
      It's on my list for one day. ;D
      I can just visualise the scene and I love the sound they make...they really are special and to be treasured.
      Did you take photos by any chance or was it before blogging days?
      Have a great week...we're already on Monday morning! :$

  3. this is a deLIGHT, Neesie!! I love ellies and even rode one once!!

    1. I adore ellies too but never rode on one...well not so far but never say never eh?
      I hope your weekend went well and you're ready for another fun packed week. ;D

  4. In Fargo we had 74 fiberglass buffalo around town back in 2006. They were painted by local artists and auctioned off later. Was called "Herd About The Prairie"--LOL! Some were pretty wild & funny and others were beautiful. I've heard a lot of different towns are doing various fiberglass statues. Really fun!

    Loved the video of the baby elephant and dad. And now there's going to be another baby! Nice! :):)

    1. I've heard of a few cities doing similar things...in fact I remember on a trip back to the UK the city displayed Lamb Bananas!

      Here's a link if you can't imagine what a Lambanana would look like http://www.superlambbanana.com/home.php?/HOME

      The unusual artwork was created to warn of the dangers of genetically modified food, whilst being appropriate to the city of Liverpool due to the port's rich history in the trade of lambs and the import of bananas.

      The video is special isn't it?
      I hope your weekend went well and you're ready for a whole new one to start ~ we already have here as it's Monday already :D

  5. oh my gosh, this is so cool, thank you so much for this post,

    1. I'm glad you like it Laurie...it is special isn't it?
      I'm happy to see you here today because I did try and pop over to your place yesterday but it said your blog wasn't available. :$
      I'll give it another try later this morning...I'm hoping you are all okay and only a blog blip!
      Pop the kettle on ~ ciao for now xoxo

  6. Beautiful post Nessie.. Love the video & those painted elephants are fabulous!! You've made my day.. as I love those guys.. Hugs May x x x

    1. Oh I'm so happy that I made your day May,
      I loved watching the video clip and wanted to share it :D

      I hope your Bank Holiday is going well...I'm not sure what the weather was going to be like...but I hope it's good! ;D

      Enjoy the rest of the day xoxo

  7. Hi Neesie, this is such a lovely post and I loved the video, so sweet to see the elephants bonding like that. A few years ago in Manchester they had a cow statue parade, they were quite nicely coloured, don't quite know what that says about Manchester though! The elephant statues look amazing! Crafty hugs, Anne x

    1. It is pretty special isn't it Anne, I loved it too. I haven't actually visited them personally yet, but I plan to.
      I'll no doubt post about it when I do :D

      I was telling Rita above about Liverpool's Lambananas but hadn't heard about Manchesters cows! There's obviously a trend then ;D

      I hope you are enjoying your Bank Holiday Monday and the sun's shining! xoxo

  8. Wonderful video Neesie and the fibreglass elephants are gorgeous. I hope you get more pics of them that we can ee, but pics of baba ellies are even mORe special! The zoo is going to be sooo mobbed once Dokkoon's new one appears, lol.
    I hope you've had a lovely day/evening and it's not too chilly with that clear sky. Can you actually see lots of stars where you are or does your area suffer from light pollution spoiling the view? It's a typical wet August bank holiday Monday here, but it is almost Autumn and we haven't actually had thAt much rain here (NE Scotland), so we shouldn't complain. Well I'm not actually, I don't have to go out in it.
    Sweet dreams Neesie :0) x

    1. I'm not sure if you saw our new addition to my herd...I only added the third ellie this morning. My friend sent me a photo that she had taken...so he's settling in here nicely! ;D
      I'll definitely try to visit before Dokkoon's big day otherwise as you say it'll be mayhem...but then I'd love to see the new arrival too ~ Hmm....I may have to go twice!

      It is chilly here still but if it's a clear sky we are lucky to be able to see all the stars. My favourite thing to do in the summer is to lie on a lounger in the pool, cooling my feet and star gazing! With a drop of something of course...ahh...but then you probably don't want to hear that with moving into Autumn.
      I know the NE of Scotland does escape quite a lot of the rainy weather, as we have lived in Aberdeen for some years and my daughter is currently living in Edinburgh.
      I'm now intregued as to where you might be located?

      It sounds like the typical UK Bank Holiday weather then ~ groan :$
      You'll just have to look forward to all those beautiful autumninal colours arriving soon.
      I hope your new week starts off well and just gets better! :D

  9. Just loved this post! Thank you! Being from Africa I have an affinity with "Lellaphants" - as I used to call them. Of course you know my love for Melbourne runs deep... and then throw in a dollop of street art and I'm good to go! It's one of the best things about Blogland. The sharing of GOODness. Have a super super day! :-) xx

    1. Whoohoo...sounds like I got a hat-trick here! African connection, Heffalumps and street art! My work is done (LOL)

      I'm so pleased to say I've just had a cuppa sitting out on a lounger...enjoying the afternoon sunshine. Ahh....perfect!
      Having to stay out of the wind though, but it's the first time I've sat out for months!
      Have a fantastic day too...carry on spreading the GOODness. :D

  10. Enjoyed this post, I recently tried my hand a carving my own elephant rubber stamp so elephants have been on my mind.


    1. Great minds think alike Darla,
      Carving your own elephant rubber stamp sounds interesting...I'm not sure about rubber stamps...but people have said I should make them out of my designs. I wouldn't have a clue though...I didn't think you could do them yourself!
      I hope you had a great weekend and are ready for another creative week ahead :D


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