Wild Baby Javan Rhino
This baby is only 4 months old and loves finding wonderful mud holes to jump in. There are so many exciting things to see in her protected home and she has a lot to learn from mum. She feels quite safe in her sanctuary, her mother told her what it was like before when people with guns would hunt them. But now her mum has another problem. As they walk through the trees together, her mum tries to show her what plants are good to eat. But there is one plant that seems to be taking over and it is not good to eat at all.
With only around 74 left in one national park in Java, the Ujung Kulon National Park, the Javan Rhino is one of the most endangered animals in the world. Once the most widespread Asian rhinoceros, ranging right through Southeast Asian to India and China it is now confined to the tropical jungles of it’s protected national park, the last sanctuary. The last Javan rhino in Vietnam was found in 2010, dead with its horn removed.
Javan rhinos are solitary animals and very rarely seen. The males have large territories which they mark with urine, faeces, scrapes, and twisted saplings. The females have much smaller territories and overlap with each other. They are vegetarians, eating mostly leaves, young shoots and twigs. They also spend a large portion of their day wallowing in mud. They find pools and puddles and deepen them with their horn and feet. It is very important for them for thermo-regulation, keeping their skin in good condition, and getting rid of any parasites and insects.
Poaching is the reason this animal is facing extinction. Their horn is used in traditional Asian medicine and is worth its weight in gold. It has been proven that there are no medicinal benefits, rhino horn is made of keratin which is the same substance as our fingernails, yet still, the market continues. Now poaching is not so much of a threat for the Javan rhino as they are heavily guarded but it is not eliminated. Another big threat is genetic diversity. With such a small population there is a risk of inbreeding. Their habitat, even though it is protected, is also under threat. The Arenga palm has taken over large parts of their home, taking away food options. It is also being degraded by the people living nearby who encroach on the park, including development for ‘eco’ tourism.
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 and #wildaboutbabies to raise unparalleled awareness about the sculpture’s cause across the globe.
To help protect these animals, please donate to the WWF: https://www.worldwildlife.org/