Elephant Parade

Dear Tommy,

It’s been [some time] since we stood - surrounded by a herd of 101 brightly painted elephant sculptures – looking up as the morning sun beamed down on the Gateway of India in Mumbai. That moment marked the beginning of our Elephant Parade India campaign and kick-started an incredible outpouring of support from creative minds like you, who designed the most stunning herd of elephants – highlighting the plight of their endangered wild cousins.

— Ruth Ganesh, Principal Trustee of Elephant Family


Photographer from the Elephant Family NGO with an elephant walking away in the background of a jungle
An elephant crossing a road

Two years ago, Studio Zung had the humbling opportunity to participate in The Elephant Parade, a global social enterprise raising awareness for the endangered species of wild Asian Elephants. Like most of our environmental problems today, the largest contributing factor to the decline of these gentle giants seems to point to us, humans, and our expanding population. The causes lie in factories and farming encroaching on previously habitable natural land in Asia, home to the far-ranging Asian Elephants. Our expanding railway systems, electricity lines, and other markers of human life are closing forest feeding ground, one after another. According to the British Council, the number of Asian elephants dropped 50% in the last 100 years due to detrimental loss of habitat leaving us with a looming statistic of 1 Asian elephant for every 10 African elephants in the wild. 

With environmental integrity and ethical design as the foundation of our studio, we joined the public art project featuring life-sized baby elephant statues created by renowned artists, designers, and celebrities. Exhibited internationally and open for bids, the funds raised by the project helped create Elephant corridors, seamlessly connecting one habitat to another thus reducing Human Elephant conflicts. 


Bucky the Elephant being held up by three men and transported across the Hamptons beach
Bucky the Elephant in the back of a pickup truck with a dog and the driver smiling at the camera
Bucky the Elephant in pink with triangular patterned accents around the legs and on top of his head and back

Starting with a blank slate, we brought to life our elephant “Bucky,” named after R. Buckminster Fuller, influenced by his iconic Geodesic Dome and a fitting embodiment of his ethos decades later. The archetypal, futuristic spherical design composed of triangles not only yields immense structural strength, but exemplifies the concept of “doing more with less.” This principle resonates with the mission of The Elephant Parade as a champion for conservation of the species and its natural habitats.

The overarching goal of building a holistic world coexisting with those we share this ground with is a vision we hold dear to our hearts. By creating “Bucky” and supporting organizations and causes closest to us, we strive to step up to the social responsibility we have as thinkers and makers of the modern landscape. 

For more information on the conservation projects of Elephant Family, visit www.elephant-family.org.  Join “Bucky” and lend a helping hand in the Elephant conservation efforts with a donation at http://elephant-family.org/help-protect-next-generation.


Bucky the Elephant on the Hampton beach facing the viewer