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Marvellous Malis

10 August 2012

Australia's first zoo is delighted to be sharing the fun and excitement of its 150th anniversary with everyone in Melbourne, with the Mali in the City public art event.

The magnificent works of artists who have created 50 Mali sculptures is now on display throughout Melbourne.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle launched the Mali in the City event this morning at the Town Hall by unveiling the final two Mali sculptures, created by artists Deb Halpern and Kelly Just.

The sculptures arrived in the city overnight, thanks to five huge Linfox trucks that each made two trips to deliver the sculptures after dark, so they would be a wonderful surprise for people this morning.

The sculptures are calf-sized, amazingly similar to the size of the Zoo's first-ever elephant calf, Mali, who will be three years old in January.

Zoo Director Kevin Tanner says "The Zoo is very fortunate to have many wonderful partners helping us achieve this Mali milestone!

"The City of Melbourne has been crucial to the success of the project, and our generous corporate sponsors and talented artists have all come on board to make this a very exciting way to share the excitement of our 150th birthday with everyone in Melbourne."

The sculptures will be in their current locations until September 21, when the whole herd will return to the Zoo to be displayed until October 25th, when they will be auctioned to help fund Zoos Victoria's local and international conservation projects.
The Zoo is calling for potential buyers to register their interest in attending the Mali in the City Auction via email at

A free iPhone app is available from the App Store, showing the locations of all the sculptures.