Most of us love elephants and even 3D printed ones. We care about them and so we should. And this 3D print of an elephant has a really important purpose. That purpose is to try and raise a petition against the practice of capturing and training elephants for the tourist and entertainment industries.
It’s a big problem worldwide with some 25,000+ elephants being held captive. Frequently they are used for rides and mockery in circuses. Many are held in appalling conditions, under nourished and basically abused. Animal rights and welfare don’t figure highly in many places.
The World Animal Protection organisation (WAP) fights to stop animals suffering. The WAP has found a novel approach to asking people to support their campaign against elephant tourism and the abuse suffered by these magnificent animals.
The basic idea was to make their petition tangible and put it in a very conspicuous place. What better way than to 3D print a life size orange elephant with all the petitioner’s names printed on its skin. What is more, do it in a very public place. As each new set of signatures are gathered daily by passers by, more of the elephant gets 3D printed. In fact, it comprises 57 columns, each 21 centimetres squared in total.
The Ultimaker 3D Printers doing the work are located in Amsterdam’s Schipol airport which is one of the busiest in the world. Some one million people will have the opportunity to see the World Animal Protection’s petition and add their names to it. Over 25,000 people have already signed and pledged their support. The campaign began on August 12th and is due to finish at the end of the month.
At this point it is a petition (written in Dutch) – what reason could there be to not replicate the idea in other places and for other worthy causes?