Elephant Sculptures

Elephant Sculptures

Life-sized Loxodonta at Your Fingertips.

As a part of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Encounter Africa exhibit, four life-size elephant sculptures were commissioned to enhance the immersion experience. Created by sculpture artist Matthew Gray Palmer of Friday Harbor, WA these elephant sculptures were transported from Washington state to the Zoo in September 2012, to be installed into the new Encounter Africa Plaza.

About the Elephants:

The four elephant sculptures are of an African bull, cow, juvenile and calf elephant. Each are “acting” as they would in the wild – the solitary bull protecting his territory, the juvenile of playing and investigating, and the cow protecting her young calf. Watch the video below to learn more.


About the Artist:

Self-taught sculptor Matthew Gray Palmer grew up in Columbus, Ohio. At age 8 he began making his first life-size creatures out of available materials such as newspaper and masking tape. In 1995, Matthew started Parallaxis, an endeavor dedicated to educating people about natural science and conservation through public works of art and multimedia events. Matthew now has established himself as a sculptor for the National Park Service with installations at Arches National Park, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve in Louisiana. Recently Matthew installed a life-size African Elephant made of Butterflies at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, VA. His current projects include works for Mammoth Cave National Park, The Hogle Zoo, University of Kentucky, and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.


Watch a Timelapse Video of the Bull Elephant’s Fabrication: