Human Elephant project coming to Fayetteville square

If you find yourself on the square over the next month or so, and you come across a 1.3 ton elephant-shaped structure in front of the Town Center, don’t freak out. It’s not an April Fool’s joke.

Her name is Nomkhubulwane (Nom-Koo-bull-wah’-nee), and she’s one of 12 other elephants created by South African artist Andries Botha for a global project called the Human Elephant Foundation. The mission of the foundation is to “create an opportunity for thinkers, individuals, and corporates to join together, stimulate their imagination, collaborate, and harness their creativity for the overall health of the planet.”

The 12 elephants created by Botha are being displayed at various locations around the world. Currently, a full herd of 9 elephants made from recycled wood are located in Belgium, a fallen elephant made from recycled cider casks is in France, and an elephant made from recycled leadwood is located in Holland.

Nomkhubulwane, the elephant that will be on display in Fayetteville, was created from recycled truck tires. She’ll be in town from April 1 through May 18 before traveling to other destinations in North America. At some point, the idea is to reunite the entire herd in one place.

“The Human Elephant Foundation is a visionary and collaborative organization that initiates, co-ordinates and facilitates discussion and innovative problem solving to create a better, respectful and sustainable world,” reads the website for the project.

Nomkhubulwane will make her Fayetteville debut at 5:30 p.m. April 1 during First Thursday in front of the Town Center where Mayor Lioneld Jordan will make a special proclamation in her honor.

For more information on the Human Elephant foundation, visit

Update: (3/31/10) – Her trip to Fayetteville was funded by Jim and Nancy Blair, Linda and Bob McBride, and Rosamund and David Banks. Walmart and BNSF Logistics helped transport her here.

Update: (4/1/10) – Slide show below.

If the above slide show doesn’t load, visit all the photos on our Flickr page.