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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

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Elephant Parade Coming to Dana Point

Residents and visitors to Dana Point are used to seeing large mammals around town.  Whale watching tours are big business here.  But for a limited time, Dana Point will play host to a herd of large land mammals.  An Elephant Parade has come to town.  The Elephant Parade is a fundraiser to help save the critically endangered Asian elephant.  According to the organizers:

Asian elephants are on the verge of extinction, and the commitment for their preservation started with special elephant known as Mosha. After stepping on an abandoned land mine, Mosha was fit with the world’s first-ever prosthesis for a baby elephant. Her powerful strides inspired father and son duo, Mike and Marc Spits, to create Elephant Parade in 2006. As a socially-conscious business enterprise, Elephant Parade has since rapidly grown from a grassroots movement into a global crusade combining a powerful mix of corporate, celebrity and community support. Through the sale of merchandise and auction of the original art pieces, the exhibition has raised over $6 million dollars to help support the world’s most majestic land mammals and raise global awareness of issues affecting their dramatic plight.

The exhibition is now in Dana Point.  It is a “free, city-wide, open-air art exhibition featuring dozens and dozens of life-size Asian elephant statues painted by renowned artists, dignitaries and celebrities.” Dana Point is is the first American location to host the Elephant Parade, after successful events in London, Milan and Amsterdam.  You can see an online map of elephant locations here, or download a PDF that includes a walking map (and a list of all of the elephant designers) here.

In the video below (courtesy of the Elephant Parade site), artist and muralist Chor Boogie decorates an elephant at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point:

The Elephant Parade runs from August 29 through November 7, 2013.   A closing ceremony from November 10-17 at Lantern Bay Park will bring the herd together for one final showing.  On November 17, some of the elephants will be auctioned off at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort to raise funds for The Asian Elephant Foundation.  Come down to Dana Point and enjoy the Elephant Parade, knowing that you are helping to raise funds and awareness for a good cause.

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