Worcestershire’s elephant community have proved themselves to be friendly, gentle giants by welcoming a calf from a new herd to their home.

African elephants from West Midland Safari Park played host to ‘Khushee’, an Asian elephant sculpture, whose herd will ‘parade’ through county streets this summer as part of a mammoth art trail.

Worcester’s Big Parade will see around 65 elephants, large and small, dotted around Worcester’s streets for eight weeks from 12 July, before each large sculpture is auctioned to raise money for St Richard’s Hospice.

Alongside adult elephant sculptures, there will be an array of elephant calves on display which will be carefully designed and painted by Worcestershire schools and community groups.

As Presenting Partner in the interactive event, West Midland Safari Park will support the creation of the parade’s education pack; offering fun and engaging elephant facts.

Chris Kelly, Managing Director of West Midland Safari Park, said: “When we heard about Worcester’s Big Parade, we knew we had to get involved as it brings together businesses, local communities and schools, all for a great cause.

“We thought the theme linked perfectly with our herd of three African elephants at the Park and the news of their brand-new habitat. Building work is almost complete for their impressive new facility, which has been designed to include outdoor pools, enrichment areas and multiple feeding areas. Integrated into their new exhibit will be six luxury lodges, where guests can stay overnight and watch these beautiful creatures roaming right outside their window.”

“We can’t wait to help spread the word about the parade to our visitors when we reopen the Park and our Lodges on 12th April.”

Sara Matthews, Business Development Manager at St Richard’s, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have the county’s resident elephant experts join us for Worcester’s Big Parade and help us raise awareness about these beautiful creatures. “The Park’s input to the parade’s education pack will bring the learning programme to life for so many local students, in what’s been a challenging school year for so many.”

West Midland Safari Park will have its own large elephant sculpture on the trail, while the others are being funded by companies and individuals from across the county.

While all elephant calves have now been adopted by local schools and community groups, a few large elephant sponsorships remain. To get involved call 01905 763963 and ask for Sara Matthews, email smatthews@strichards.org.uk or visit https://worcestersbigparade.co.uk/get-involved/

Worcester’s Big Parade is a Wild in Art event being brought to the city by St Richard’s Hospice. It is supported by partners Crowngate, Worcester City Council, Worcester Business Improvement District (BID), DRPG, West Midland Safari Park the Worcester News and BBC Hereford & Worcester.

To find out more, visit www.worcestersbigparade.co.uk. You can also follow Worcester’s Big Parade at www.facebook.com/WorcestersBigParade, www.twitter.com/WorcsBigParade and www.Instagram.com/WorcsBigParade