News / Toronto

Out with the giant duck, in with the large elephant! Now it needs a name and a home

Bao Bao Plus Dim Sum in Bloor West has an elephant sculpture in the backyard — that apparently sprays water.

A giant elephant sculpture has made Jane and Bloor streets its temporary home.

@mako_milo / Instagram

A giant elephant sculpture has made Jane and Bloor streets its temporary home.

Move over giant rubber duck; there's a new massive animal in town, and this one didn't cost taxpayers a dime.

A giant elephant sculpture has taken up temporary residence in the backyard of Bao Bao Plus Dim Sum at Jane and Bloor streets ahead of an as-yet-undisclosed event in September.

The elephant — temporarily dubbed Mr. Bao Bao — was shipped from China where it toured for two years, said Alice Wan, owner of China Focus Group, the company charged with bringing the elephant to Toronto.

"It shipped from China on a steam liner to Vancouver and then trucked into Toronto," said Wan.

At four metres tall and seven metres long, the elephant statue weighs about a tonne.

Wan said they hope to create a blog so people can follow the elephant's whereabouts. They also want locals to vote on a name.

"We would like to have a name from Torontonians because it belongs to Canada, it belongs to Toronto," she said.

The elephant isn't just a decoration; spectators can actually feed Mr. Bao Bao bananas and apples.

"Once the elephant is fed he'll start making sounds, rolling his eyes, spraying water, and the ears are flapping, the tail is moving and also the belly is moving," Wan explained.

For now, the elephant will stay behind Bao Bao Plus Dim Sum while minor repairs to the eyes and trunk are completed. After that, Wan hopes, they'll rent it out for events and festivals.

"We want Toronto to look at it and play with it and be entertained, so we hope to bring joy to Toronto," she said.

Metro was unable to confirm if the elephant in this video is Mr. Bao Bao, but the sculpture will behave in a similar way.

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