Elephant Parade artist Chris Hoy interview

Fiberglass elephant painted by Chris Hoy titled "There's Still Hope." (Shirley Smith)

Fiberglass elephant painted by Chris Hoy titled “There’s Still Hope.” (Shirley Smith)

Chris Hoy has painted many endangered species and been involved with charities and zoos all over the world promoting endangered animals such as the ones he incorporated into his elephant painting entitled “There’s Still Hope”.

Chris Hoy, artist, designed and painted the elephants in the Elephant Parade in Dana Point. (Shirley Smith)

Wildlife artist Chris Hoy, one of the designers represented in the Elephant parade, advocates for endangered species. (Shirley Smith)

“I have always focused on the African elephant,” Hoy said, but since he has been with this group in the last month, he came to realize that the Asian elephants are the endangered ones.

“In the last hundred years 90 percent of them are gone in the wild,” Hoy said. “There are only 10 percent left. But to look at these elephants up close is a remarkable thing.”

The bald eagle in one such painting on his art piece and says that in 1979 there were no bald eagles left in California, but since then President Clinton was able to take them off the endangered list.

There is a California condor painted on one side of the elephant.

“In 1983 they captured all 33 condors left,” Hoy explained. “Today we have over 350 of them released back into the wild.”

Children see to love the elephants.

“The way these kids are growing up with the attention we have with everything, there is hope,” Hoy said. “We actually had a little kid hug the panda bear yesterday on this side and it made my day. That’s why I do this.”

Hoy was filmed 24 hours a day while painting his elephant in just two and a half weeks.

“It is made out of fiberglass and was shipped to me, all white,” Hoy said. “It took me three days to paint the skin, which was the hardest. Then I painted the animals in. The last thing I did was the elephant.”

Various artists, who support prevention of endangered species, painted the 37 five-feet tall fiberglass elephant statues and their work, which can be viewed at various parks in Dana Point from August 23 to November 10. Visit  http://www.mydanapoint.com/elephants for more information.

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