LIFE-SIZE model elephants, 250 of them, have turned up in central London today and they’re hanging around for the next couple of months.

Popular on LondonNet

Painted in a variety of exuberant colours and placed in popular spots all over central London, as well as the aptly named Elephant and Castle, the models are there to raise awareness and cash for projects helping wild Asian elephants.

Elephant Parade is a brilliantly innovative way of using public art to benefit conservation,” said London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Many of the model elephants have been created by famous names such as Diane Von Furstenberg, Lulu Guinness, Julien Macdonald, John Rocha, Jack Vettriano, and Nicky Haslam.

On 3 July, the models will be auctioned off at Sotheby’s in hope of raising £2M, which works out as £8,000 per pachyderm.

Back in 2002, when London was invaded by model cows, a similar charity auction brought in £350,000 so £2M is an ambitious target. On the other hand and at the risk of offending our bovine friends, elephants aren’t quite as dumbo.