For the 2012 Sarasota Chalk Festival 'Circus City, USA' theme - two Asian elephants, Snowflake and her mate Nero, were carved by festival artist Kumpa Tawornprom. Kumpa and a team of volunteers took 5 months to carve the pair out of a dense foam. Their bodies were coated to give them the appearance of elephant skin and their eyes are made of glass. Both Snowflake and Nero will attend the Sarasota Chalk Festival in Venice November 10-17 to bring awareness to the 2014 theme 'Extinct and Endangered Species.' Sadly Asian Elephants are highly endangered. The elephant is Earth's largest land animal but Asian elephants are slightly smaller than African Elephants. They have been domesticated for thousands of years and employed to move heavy objects, such as felled trees, to carry humans on their backs, and even to wage war. Female elephants (cows) live in family herds with their young, but adult males (bulls) tend to roam on their own. Having a baby elephant is a serious commitment with pregnancy lasting longer than any other mammal - almost 22 months. At birth, elephants already weigh some 200 pounds and stand about three feet tall. Adult Elephants eat roots, grasses, fruit, and bark, and consume up to 300 pounds of food in a single day. They roam over great distances while foraging for food they require to sustain their massive bodies. Elephant ears radiate heat to help keep these large animals cool, but sometimes that isn't enough. Elephants are fond of water and enjoy showering by sucking water into their trunks and spraying it all over themselves. An elephant's trunk is actually a long nose with many functions. It is used for smelling, breathing, trumpeting, drinking, and also for grabbing things—especially a potential meal. The trunk alone contains about 100,000 different muscles. Asian elephants have a fingerlike feature on the end of their trunk that they can use to grab small items. Elephants use their tusks to dig for roots and water, strip bark from trees, and even fight each other. Unfortunately their ivory has gotten them into a lot of trouble. Because ivory is so valuable to some humans, many elephants have been killed for their tusks. This trade is illegal today, but it has not been completely eliminated. In fact, one of Nero's tusks was cut and taken in 2013 so today, he only has one tusk. Snowflake and Nero do not eat much but they are expensive to upkeep. Please consider donating to help our nonprofit maintain these two beautiful additions to the chalk family. Please help us maintain the elephants by DONATE in the upper right corner. Please join us November 14-17 to see Snowflake and Nero at the Sarasota Chalk Festival in Venice!