Cranbrook Ed, 2009

Meet the most famous elephant in East Kootenay history. 

On August 6, 1926, the Sells-Floto Circus train pulled into Cranbrook. When the elephants were unloaded, something startled them and six of the circus' fourteen elephants made a break for it. Three were rounded up immediately; another three were on the lam for days. It took six weeks to catch the then-named Charlie Ed, who, upon recovery, was doused with champagne, rechristened Cranbrook Ed, and given a lavish farewell breakfast. 

This sculpture, forged of fourteen gauge mild steel sizing by Kimberley artist-blacksmiths Tony and Twila Austin, is a life-size representation of the fourteen-year-old Indian elephant. Six-inch strips of metal were welded to ribbing; the sculpture was sandblasted and given a ferric nitrate rust patina. The 544 kg sculpture is charmingly situated so that anyone driving north on 8th Avenue has a prime view of pachyderm fanny. 

Speaking of which, feel free to give Ed a pat; artist Twila Austin says he's designed to be climbed on and that he received many affectionate rump pats while under construction.