Love The Addax
This 6-year-old Addax knows he’s a catch, a catch for an Addax lady, not a hunter! Hiding from sandstorms and keeping cool, he is highly adapted to the harshest conditions and doesn’t even need to drink water as long as there’s some moisture in his plants. But even though he is so well adapted, it doesn’t save him from humans. They love his skin and think he’s tasty so the numbers of his species have been decimated. His kind is so critically endangered he’s not sure how much longer he will be around.
Also known as the white antelope or screwhorn antelope, the beautiful addax is a critically endangered animal. Beautifully white in summer and grey/brown in winter with twisting horns that can be over a meter in length, it was once abundant throughout North Africa. It could thrive in harsh environments that other animals couldn’t survive, like the Sahara Desert. It is perfectly adapted to the sandy landscape with splayed hooves perfect for running on sand and the ability to survive with very little water, getting all they need from the little moisture on the plants they eat. They are also mainly nocturnal, particularly in summer, spending their days digging into the sand in a shady area to escape the heat and protect themselves from sandstorms.
Mother Addax’s give birth to usually just one baby at a time. It is completely helpless when it is born and she keeps it hidden for the first 6 weeks of its life, feeding up it on her nutritious milk. When the babies are older and less vulnerable, they can come out of hiding and join the herd. Herds are organised based on age with the oldest female being in charge.
Addax were once widespread and populous but because of overhunting, they have become very rare. They are an easy target because they are quite slow and their meat and leather are highly sought after. Addax have also suffered from drought and habitat destruction, mainly caused by human settlements and agriculture moving into their territory. There are thought to be less than 100 individuals left in the wild but that seems to be a generous estimation. Luckily, there are many Addax in captivity around the world that could be used for reintroduction programmes. Unfortunately, very few organisations have the Addax high on their list of priorities.
HOW TO HELP
Based off real animals that Gillie and Marc met while travelling, the public will be able to meet individual animals.
With public art, more people will come into contact with these sculptures, will stop and consider them, will take a photograph, and will discuss this with their friends and family. Through this increased exposure, the message of love, family, and conservation will be spread much further than any piece of art in a gallery ever could. It will bring people into close contact and will help them to fall in love. With love comes a greater urge to want to create a change and save all endangered animals.
The sculpture will be aligned with the hashtags #LoveTheLast to raise unparalleled awareness about the sculpture’s cause across the globe.
To help protect these animals, please donate to the WWF: https://www.wwf.sg/