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Fashion Designer Dalia MacPhee Gives Back by Creating Blankets for Orphaned Elephants

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Photo: Dalia MacPhee

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Photo: Dalia MacPhee

With a long list of celebrity clients and a knack for creating protective animal products, Los Angeles-based designer Dalia MacPhee recently launched a line of blankets to comfort and protect orphaned baby elephants. Introduced in time for Aug. 12's World Elephant Day, MacPhee designed the blankets following a conversation with client and fellow animal-rights supporter Shannon Elizabeth. It was during this discussion when MacPhee learned about the hardships faced by the smallest elephants who lose their mothers due to poaching by humans.

According to MacPhee, baby elephants who lack the nourishment and protection from pneumonia that is provided by a mother's warmth, could die if left without care. As extremely intelligent beings who rely on their herds as families, baby elephants are often traumatized by the actions of poachers that leave them orphaned. The blankets designed by MacPhee can fulfill the need for comfort, in addition to protecting the animals through offering heat insulation and protection from the elements.

"The babies, often under 2 years old, are spared, but usually will not survive unless taken into an orphanage," she said. "There, they then also struggle to survive the elements, cold and rain without warmth of the mother or herd."

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Shannon Elizabeth wears Dalia MacPhee Photo: Dalia MacPhee

This is not MacPhee's first venture into animal protection. She is also the creator of protective gear for dogs and the Equisafe horse blanket, which is constructed from fire-retardant material. The designs include a GPS device to track animals when they are set loose during an emergency or lost.

"In the world we are living in right now, we can choose to be shocked and saddened, or we can choose to do something," she said. "I was already manufacturing horse blankets as a result of my new fire retardant horse blanket with GPS (The Equisafe Blanket) and realized I could create something insulated and weather proof with adjustable attachments for the babies."

MacPhee will donate blankets to the Shannon Elizabeth Foundation, which will distribute them to elephant sanctuaries and rescues.