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There's a Guinness World Record for origami elephants. The story behind it is delightful.

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Image pulled from YouTube video

A colorful display of origami elephants.

The Wildlife Conservation Society and the Bronx Zoo set a weird, colorful world record in the name of elephant conservation.

A lot of wild elephants are in danger. Habitat loss and ivory poaching have been pushing their numbers lower and lower.

In an effort to support elephant conservation, the Bronx Zoo and the Wildlife Conservation Society's 96 elephants campaign joined together. They wanted to make an impactful statement by collecting as many origami elephants as possible to show that people really do care about these animals.


They put out the call on social media with the #JoinTheFold and #ElephantOrigamiChallenge hashtags and campaigns.

The world responded with a truly gigantic outpouring of elephant love.

origami, elephant conservation, nature, participation

A display of origami elephants submitted by people from all over the world.

Image pulled from YouTube video

How gigantic was this? The zoo received a grand total of over 204,000 papercraft pachyderms from all around the world.

It was a veritable origami menagerie.

origami, elephant conservation, exhibit, wildlife

A large display of origami elephants of many colors.

Image pulled from YouTube video

Some of the elephants were quite small.

display, pubic exhibition, Wildlife Conservation Society, world record

Some of the origami pieces were very small.

Image pulled from YouTube video

Others were pretty dang big.

display, poaching, elephants, nature

Some of the origami elephants were rather large.

Image pulled from YouTube video

They weren't all the same style either! Turns out, there's a bunch of different ways to make your own little papercraft pachyderm.

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Some unique pieces of origami were created.

Image pulled from YouTube video

They came in from as far as Iran, Kazakhstan, and Egypt.

The zoo received origami elephants from more than 40 different countries and all 50 U.S. states. Participants included 45 other zoos, a class of deaf students, and a 109-year-old woman — all sending in their colorful additions to the project.

Using this amazing outpouring of love, the zoo put together a 78,564-strong elephant display.

It even got into the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest origami elephant herd ever!

They more than doubled the previous record, which was set by the London/Whipsnade Zoo at a now relatively measly 33,764 elephants. The Bronx Zoo's full display won't be open to the public, but they say they're planning on incorporating them into a holiday exhibit.

Watch the video below to see for yourself:

The zoo and Wildlife Conservation Society hope the exhibit will inspire people to help save elephants.

The exhibit was organized by the Wildlife Conservation Society's 96 elephants campaign, named for the 96 elephants reportedly lost every day to poaching. The Wildlife Conservation Society hopes this simple gesture can help send a message: We're dedicated to saving these animals.

If you want to make some origami elephants of your own, you can check out 96 elephants to learn how. If you want to show even more support for elephants, you can check out the campaign or some of the many otherconservation organizations.



All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

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