The biggest hit of last year’s Sculpture by the Sea was Buried Rhino and now the artists behind it are hoping to help New Yorkers uncover the truth about the endangered giants. Gillie and Marc Schattner have been further inspired by a visit to Kenya in March, where they cuddled and patted three of the enormous animals from a subspecies that will soon be extinct.
Elderly Sudan is the last northern white rhino male and his infertile daughter and granddaughter Najin and Fatu are the last females. The live under armed guard to protect them from poachers who sell rhino horns for up to $1 million each, fuelled by demand from countries such as China, Vietnam and the Middle East. The couple will make a bronze sculpture of Sudan, Najin and Fatu for New York’s Astor Place for three months from January 1. Supporters will be invited to write goodbye notes to the northern white at www.goodbyerhinos.org.
“We could get right up to (the rhinos), especially Sudan , and tickle him under his belly and behind his ears and hug him and do all that, ” Ms Schattner said. ” We’re hoping to get enough messages that we can take it to the Chinese and Vietnamese governments to see if we can get them to do something about poaching.”