UPDATE – Nick’s baby rhino sculpture raised an incredible £25,000 in the charity auction. All of the money raised will go towards Helping Rhinos’ animal conservation projects.
Helping Rhinos is a charity working in Africa to develop conservation, community and education initiatives to ensure the long-term survival of the rhino and other endangered wildlife in their natural habitat.
Rhinos have had a special place in my heart ever since working with them on a student work placement at Chester Zoo – see my previous post here. It’s important for me to support rhino conservation. I want future generations to have the chance to see these magnificent animals.
I’ve therefore donated a one-off sculpture of a baby rhino to the HelpingRhinos fundraising auction. It took me nearly a week to sculpt Little Guy, who is based on one of the new arrivals at the rhino orphanage.
This vulnerable looking baby is no pushover. He’s actually quite feisty. But I captured him at a quiet moment. This one-off rhino sculpture is 38cm long and Raku-fired. Little Guy is a very detailed baby rhino sculpture. He’s now looking for his forever home. Just look into his eyes!
East Asia’s insatiable appetite for rhino horn is pushing this incredible species to extinction. We need to do everything we can to educate, protect and rescue rhinos. Rhino horn, like our nails, is made of keratin. It’s indigestible to humans. Our bodies are unable to extract any nutrition from rhino horn. But myths persist in traditional medicine about its healing properties.
You can bid for this rhino sculpture in a live auction which closes Sunday 1st October 21.00 GMT. You can also purchase tickets for the event here. Funds raised will go to support the vital conservation work of Helping Rhinos.
Many people in east Asia are still convinced rhino horn can cure all manner of ailments and afflictions. Helping Rhinos’ education programmes help to dispel these myths and promote better understanding of the need to conserve endangered species in the wild.
Helping Rhinos also support the Black Mambas, the world’s first all-female anti-poaching unit. These young African women patrol 20,000 hectares of the Balule Nature Reserve in South Africa’s Greater Kruger National Park. The women work not only to protect the animals but as role models in their communities.
I’ve posted before about the Kariega Foundation, the conservation arm of the Kariega Game Reserve, home to the world famous poaching survivor Thandi. Since her horrific attack, Thandi has made a miraculous recovery and has gone on to have four calves.
Helping Rhinos is running the exclusive adoption programme for Thandi and her family, including her youngest calf, Siya. Funds raised through the adoption programme will be used to support the community projects and the work of the Kariega anti-poaching unit. You can read more about the project here.
I hope you will join me in supporting Helping Rhinos in the fight to preserve high quality habitat for the rhino and other endangered species, whilst working to win the support of local communities and educate future generations to make informed, sustainable choices.