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Bronx Zoo Sets World Record for Largest Origami Elephant Display

Bronx Zoo Sets World Record for Largest Origami Elephant Display

The Bronx Zoo made history today when it set the Guinness World Record for the largest origami elephant display in the world.

The feat was achieved on the 12th annual Guinness World Records Day, an international celebration of record breaking which unites the globe as thousands of people come together to attempt to secure a prestigious Guinness World Records title.

In total, 204,481 origami elephants were sent to the Bronx Zoo from all 50 states, 40 countries and 45 AZA zoos. More than 78,564 were mounted and included in the certified record setting display. Until today, the title was held by the ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in Great Britain, which displayed 33,764 origami elephants in 2014. 

The Bronx Zoo’s display is part of The Wildlife Conservation Society’s 96 Elephants campaign to raise awareness of elephant poaching in Africa where 96 elephants are killed each day for their ivory.

“96 Elephants and its partners have broken the Guinness World Records title for largest display of origami elephants to honor the 35,000 elephants that are lost each year to poaching,” said John Calvelli, WCS executive vice president for Public Affairs and director of the 96 Elephants Campaign. “WCS’s Bronx Zoo received these gems of folded paper from all over the world and assembled them into this gorgeous display as a simple gesture that sends a powerful message to the world that we are standing together to save these majestic animals.” 

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The display will not be open to the public due to its sheer size, but many of the origami elephants will be incorporated into a holiday exhibit in Zoo Center for public viewing throughout the month of December. The exhibit will demonstrate the overwhelming global support generated by the 96 Elephants campaign for efforts to save elephants from extinction by ending the ivory trade.

WCS’s 96 Elephants campaign worked with OrigamiUSA to organize this record setting effort, with additional support from Asia Society, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Boy Scouts of America Greater New York Councils, Children’s Museum of the Arts, Girl Scout Council of Greater New York, Japan Society, Origamodo and Tuttle Publishing. For those interested in learning more about the campaign—and creating their own customized digital origami elephant—go to 96elephants.org.

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 Main image: Julie Larson Maher for WCS.