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Artist Uses Body Paint to Transform Three Women Into Elephant

Italian artist Johannes Stoetter is famous for using body paint to transform humans into animals. Here at CITES, he teamed up with the World Wildlife Fund to raise awareness about the decline of elephants with a new work, “Coming Together for Elephants.” Can you spot the three women in the elephant?

“While a canvas lasts forever, a body painting lasts for just a few hours. Hopefully that’s not true for our elephants,” Stoetter said in a statement.

At the art event representatives from WWF discussed the ivory trade. Each year, thousands of elephants are poached for their ivory.

Last September, U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that both countries would be closing their domestic ivory markets, two of the biggest in the world (the cross-border ivory trade has been banned for more than two decades). But, warned WWF’s Zhou Fei at the event, it’s critical other countries follow their example so that the trade doesn’t shift elsewhere.

Here are more photos from the process.

Stoetter paints the models, who will come together to look like an elephant. (Image courtesy Snapdragonpictures/WWF)
Stoetter paints the models, who will come together to look like an elephant. (Image courtesy Snapdragonpictures/WWF)

 

Stoetter teamed with WWF to raise awareness about the decline of elephants and the ivory trade.(Image courtesy Snapdragonpictures/WWF)
Stoetter teamed with WWF to raise awareness about the decline of elephants and the ivory trade.(Image courtesy Snapdragonpictures/WWF)

 

Three models in body paint by artist Johannes Stoetter form an elephant at CITES CoP17 in Johannesburg. (Image courtesy Snapdragonpictures/WWF)
The final creation. (Image courtesy Snapdragonpictures/WWF)