Hundreds of elephants to take over Heaton Park for charity

Herds of elephants are set to go on the run at Heaton Park, Manchester.

On Saturday 25 July, Heaton Park will be taken over by elephants – that is, charity runners dressed as elephants to raise money for conservation charity, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT).

Rob Brandford, Executive Director of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (UK), explained: “Today, Africa’s elephants need our help more than ever before. Across Africa, one elephant is killed every 15 minutes for their tusks to fuel an increasing demand for ivory. An estimated 35,000 elephants are killed every year leading prominent conservationists to warn the species could be extinct in the wild by 2025.

“The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust relies completely on donations and fundraising to protect wildlife and habitats in Kenya. In recent years, ivory poachers have decimated elephant and rhinoceros populations across Africa leading to an increase in milk-dependent baby elephants, orphaned by the trade in ivory and elephants targeted multiple times by poachers.

“The Enormous Elephant Run is our chance to make a difference for elephants and protect them for future generations. Last year’s event on Wimbledon Common attracted over 200 runners, this year we want to attract 700 at both charity runs in Manchester and London.”

The Enormous Elephant Run is a charity fun run with a difference; all participants will be dressed as elephants and plan to run, jog, skip and walk either 5 or 10K to raise vital funds and awareness for Africa’s elephants.

Last year, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust raised over £50,000 and this year the charity hopes to raise even more. Charity projects in Kenya include an Elephant Orphanage, made famous by the BBC series ‘Elephant Diaries,’ and the only safe haven in Kenya for orphaned elephants.

Since 1987, the trust has successfully hand reared more than 180 elephants to be reintegrated back into the wild when grown.

The charity also operates nine Anti-Poaching Teams and four Mobile Veterinary Units in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service which work in the field to protect elephants from ivory poachers.

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is encouraging those interested to sign up as soon as possible; registration costs £18 for those aged 6-15 years old in the 5k, £32 for an adult in the 5K and £35 for an adult in the 10K, with a suggested fundraising target of £200 per person. Registration costs cover an elephant suit (to keep), fundraising materials and support.

For more information and to register your place visit www.runforelephants.com or contact the events team at infouk@sheldrickwildlifetrust.org

ENDS

For more information, please contact Amie Alden, Fundraising and Communications Officer, on tel (01372) 378 321 or email amie@sheldrickwildlifetrust.org

Notes to editors:

• Minimum age requirement for the 5K is six years and older and 16 years and older for the 10K
• For photos please credit The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
• Information about the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust visit www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org
The Run, which is suitable for live coverage, will provide interested sponsors with: interesting photos, compelling video clips, on-the-day access and quotes from DSWT staff. All great coverage during the quiet school holidays!

We are happy to disclose: coverage in your local events sections and can provide up to three free places for interested journalists who would like to participate. We also have a number of places that can be given to local readers as part of ticket giveaways or contests.

With 500 people attending the Run, it’s a fantastic chance to show the local community you support local events, and in return, we can promote your newspaper to our runners. For instance (depending on level of support): placing your logo in prominent locations and in supporter communications, on the day mention, on the day broadcasting etc.