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The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall host "Travels to My Elephant" Royal Rickshaw event

30th June 2015

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall attend a reception in support of the Elephant Family at Lancaster House in London

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall attend a reception in support of the Elephant Family at Lancaster House in London

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, joint Presidents of the charity Elephant Family, hosted a reception at Lancaster House in London tonight in support of Asia's endangered elephants.

The event highlighted a global "auto rickshaw", or motorised rickshaw, race which will take place later this year. The race will involve a fleet of the vehicles, individually designed by international artists, milliners and fashion designers.

In November some 30 rickshaws will journey 500km across Madhya Pradesh, India in support of the cause.

The event is called “Travels to My Elephant” and is inspired by the charity's late founder and The Duchess’s brother Mark Shand, whose rescue of an Asian elephant, Tara, led to its creation. His adventures were recorded in his best-selling book Travels on my Elephant.

Mr Shand, who died in New York in April last year, dedicated his life to saving Asia's elephants.

 

HRH speaks at a reception in support of the Elephant Family at Lancaster House in London

HRH speaks at a reception in support of the Elephant Family at Lancaster House in London

His Royal Highness said everyone was at the event "to ensure that dear Mark's hard-won legacy is maintained and enhanced".

The Prince added: "I can't help thinking he would have been so pleased to know if he had been with us that we have just met the representatives of four conservation charities who are partnering with Elephant Family with the aim of unlocking GBP20 million pounds to secure 100 elephant corridors across India by 2025.

"This evening's events are designed to highlight the quest to save Asia's endangered elephants from a frighteningly precipitous decline.

There may be no more than 50,000 left in total in the wild across the 13 countries where they are literally clinging to survival.

"Sadly, it is the case that the pressures of finite space and the needs of an unsustainably growing human population have brought us into conflict with these remarkable creatures. 

"Witnessing this conundrum, Mark's vision was simple but profound; the elephants can survive only if forests survive.”

Later in the evening, the rickshaws were being auctioned to support Elephant Family's projects.

A speech by HRH The Prince of Wales at the Elephant Family "Travels to my Elephant" Royal Rickshaw Event

Published on 30th June 2015

As Joint Presidents of this marvellous charity Elephant Family my wife and I, could not be more proud to support their vital work.   After all, we are all here to ensure that dear Mark's hard-won legacy is maintained and enhanced.  I can't help thinking he would have been so pleased to know if he had been with us  that we have just met the representatives of four conservation charities who are partnering with Elephant Family with the aim of unlocking £20 million pounds to secure one hundred elephant corridors across India by 2025. 

I am very glad to say that my British Asian Trust is also committed to assisting this work; they have offered Elephant Family the dedicated endeavours of one of their staff in-country in order to leverage the contacts the British Asian Trust have built up for almost a decade, including corporates, trusts, foundations and individuals in both the public and private spheres.

This evening's events are designed to highlight the quest to save Asia's endangered elephants from a frighteningly precipitous decline.  There may be no more than fifty thousand left in total in the wild across the thirteen countries where they are literally clinging to survival. 

Sadly, it is the case that the pressures of finite space and the needs of an unsustainably growing human population have brought us into conflict with these remarkable creatures.  Assam, in Northeast India, is home to one of the largest remaining populations of the Asian elephant, but its forest habitat is disappearing at an increasingly ala ...

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