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Chilham: Hundreds of tiny china elephants appear in the village

By Bess Browning

The villagers of Chilham woke up to something very peculiar this morning.

More than 1,000 tiny ornamental elephants have been placed around the village - and nobody seems to have any idea why.

The numbered china models are on walls and benches, in front of people's homes, in the pub garden, on top of people's cars and at the school gates.

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The Chilham sign has a number of the elephants around it.
The Chilham sign has a number of the elephants around it.

Every single one seems to be different and every one is numbered, going further than 1,000.

Although it seems completely out of the blue, Chilham actually has some historical links to elephants.

The story goes that in the 18th century, Sir Henry Diggs, the director of the East India Company important the huge animals to clear the forests around his estate - Chilham Castle.

The Elephant House, with its 14ft archways, was built to house them - and the house still stands to this day and was this morning surrounded by the ornaments.

Video: Mysterious china elephants appear in Chilham

Nicola Green is the landlady at the Woolpack Inn and arrived at work around 6am to find dozens of the figurines scattered around the pub garden.

She checked her CCTV and discovered that a group of unknown people had been secretly placing the elephants around the village at about 2am.

She said: "As I came to work we saw two or three little things out the front, which we thought was rubbish that somebody had left.

Outside Elephant House.
Outside Elephant House.

“When we walked round the corner, the whole village was just peppered with elephants. Brass elephants, elephant money boxes, toy elephants.

“They are just everywhere. They’re on lamp posts, picnic tables, doorways, driveways, and nobody knows where they came from.

“There’s people saying all sorts of things because the castle have the elephant house which in Queen Victoria’s day, there were actually elephants at the castle.

Residents have no idea where the elephants have come from
Residents have no idea where the elephants have come from

“Perhaps they’ve emptied a room and suddenly discovered thousands of elephants or is it connected with Prince William’s effort to save the elephant - nobody knows.”

Cisca Perrett lives in the village. She said today: “I woke up with this message on my phone saying 'have you seen the elephants walking around Chilham' which made me jump out of bed.

“I have to walk though the church yard to get to the square and I didn’t know what to expect.

One of the many elephants.
One of the many elephants.

“The first thing I saw was the two cars - the roofs were covered with these creatures, they are just everywhere. Your smile just gets bigger and bigger and bigger as you walk around.

“I think it’s just a brilliant idea.

"Perhaps because it's elephant day or the fact we've got the elephant house in the village, somebody must have made a connection and made a very creative solution."

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