Securing a shared future for wildlife and people

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Taronga Zoo is seeking artists to help decorate a herd of rhinoceros to make a colourful statement about the plight of the species in the wild. 

Taronga’s Wild! Rhinos is a public art project, which will see 75 life-sized, individually decorated rhinoceros sculptures installed throughout Sydney and NSW during February, March and April

Helen Wright, head of the Taronga Foundation, said: “The community art project is a colourful way of raising awareness and funds for a serious cause.” 

Already in 2013, one rhino is being lost to poaching every 11 hours. 

“Rhinos are being killed for their horns, which are mistakenly thought to have medicinal properties, but if this insatiable demand continues, poaching will outstrip births by 2015.” 

“That’s just two years away, so rhinos need our help,” said Helen. 

Artists are being encouraged to unleash their wild side, join the charge and submit their original designs, which if chosen would feature on the blank rhinoceros sculptural canvasses.

 “We’d welcome designs in any art form, from fine art to graffiti, new media to mosaic, embroidery and metalwork to help us create one of the most talked about public art exhibitions in Australia,” said Helen.

“If the design is commissioned, the artists will be paid an honorarium when the artwork is completed. There’s not many artists who can say they’ve painted a rhino!,” said Helen.

At the conclusion of Taronga Wild! Rhinos, the sculptures will be auctioned, with funds directed into Taronga’s rhinoceros conservation and breeding programs and contributing to vital work taking place in the wild which includes Taronga funding anti-poaching patrols in Africa and providing veterinary assistance to the International Rhinoceros Foundation.

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