Black Rhino

NAME
Azad

TITLE
Love The Black Rhino

GENDER
Male

AGE
17

FOUND
East & Southern Africa

CONSERVATION STATUS
Critically Endangered

This 17-year-old male has done well to make it this far in life. Poaching seems to be everywhere. He is always looking over his shoulder for another human with a gun who can see only money through their eyes. He should be safe since he has no natural predators but he never does. He wishes that one day he can live in peace and not have to worry that someone will kill him for his horns.

The black rhino is the smaller of the two African species. Even though they are called ‘black’ they are actually brown to grey. They are browsers and spend their time munching on leaves from bushes and trees, aided by the pointed shape of their lip. They have two horns on their skull with the front one a bit longer, and sometimes a third, a small posterior horn. Even though they are vegetarians, they can weigh between 800-1,400 kg, with one unusually large male being measured at 2,896 kg!

Black rhinos are generally solitary animals but they are not territorial, often having intersecting territories with many other rhinos. They are known to be extremely aggressive and if they see a threat, they will charge it down. Sometimes a threat may only be a tree but you never can be too careful! With no natural predators, these hardy animals can still be a threat to themselves, fighting with each other and racking up the highest death rate recorded for any mammal with 50% of males and 30% of females dying from injuries during the fight.

To find a fertile female, a male black rhino will follow the scent of dung piles that a female has made. Once mated, the female will give birth to one calf who weighs about 35-50 kg. The calf can walk and follow its mother only 3 days after it was born. It is at risk from hyenas and lions so will need to stay close to their mother who will aggressively protect them. The mother and her calf will stay together for 2-3 years when the mother gives birth again.

Black rhino populations were decimated in the 20th century because of poaching by European hunters. Between 1960-95 their numbers dropped 98% hitting a low of 2,500. Now, because of intense conservation efforts, their populations have increased and are currently around 5,600. Still, they are very threatened. Poaching is their number one threat. With the huge amount of money that can be made from their horns on the black market, rhinos are a target, and since black rhinos have two horns, they’re a great option for poachers. Even though it has been scientifically proven that there are no health benefits of ingesting rhino horn, the trade is still thriving, particularly in China and Vietnam, which threatens all the amazing conservation work that has been done so far. Habitat loss and fragmentation is also a major issue with agriculture, human settlements, and industrial projects encroaching on the rhino’s home.

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 hashtag #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/

PARTNER

WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. As one of WWF’s international hubs, WWF-Singapore supports a global network spanning over 100 countries. We work to meet key conservation goals, such as deforestation, haze pollution, food security, sustainable finance, sustainable consumption and illegal wildlife trade.

SOURCES

NAME
Elimu

TITLE
Love The Baby Black Rhino

GENDER
Male

AGE
2 months

FOUND
East & Southern Africa

CONSERVATION STATUS
Critically Endangered

This baby rhino is very content to follow his mum around. He loves being by her side, especially because he knows she will do anything to protect him. Nobody can mess with mum with her great big horn! He has heard talk at the water hole who could beat his mum though. It’s men with guns. They sneak around and then cut off rhino horns! The little rhino can’t possibly understand why they would want his mum's horn but he will stay on the lookout for her. He needs his mum!

Rhinos are one of the most iconic animals in the kingdom and the horn of the black rhino really sets it apart. Rhino horns are made of keratin, the same material as our hair and fingernails. A rhino horn, just like our fingernails, will grow throughout the rhino's life. They are extremely tough, but they can still get broken or split, especially during a fight. Males tend to have thicker horns and females thinner yet longer ones. There can also be differences in shape depending on the area the rhino is from. The longest horn on record was 4.9 feet!

The heat of Africa is intense, even to a local. Black rhinos are active during the day, but when things really start to heat up (usually between 10 am-3 pm), they retire. Cool in the shade of a large rock, tree, or deep in a mud wallow, the rhinos will bide their time until things get a bit cooler. They’re also active at night, a much cooler time of day! With very poor eyesight, the rhinos don’t mind the lack of light. Their excellent sense of smell and hearing is plenty to navigate the night.

The very big babies are very reliant on mum. Not only are they incredibly at risk of predators, but they’re also very dependent on her nourishing milk. For the first 2 months they will suckle until they are weaned. But some hungry little rhinos will keep suckling for up to a year! The calf will stay with its mother, following her around on her search for food for 2-4 years. It’s when mum is ready to have her next calf that she sends her baby off into the world. She will sometimes let a calf come back when her new baby is 6-8 months old but by this stage, the calf would have normally established its own territory. Strangely, more male calves are born than females. But because the mortality rate of adult males is much higher there are still more adult females!

Of all the rhino species, the black rhino has seen the most drastic decline. But since 1996, there has been a glimmer of hope. Because of the very strict anti-poaching measures as well as the movement of rhinos to safer areas, the species is slowly recovering. Unfortunately, poaching is still the greatest threat. While it is most commonly known that their horns are used in traditional Chinese medicines, it is also highly prized for ornamental uses. There must be a big shift in mentality and knowledge to convince the world that there are no medical benefits to rhino horns. But also, that the best place for a rhino horn is not on a shelf, but on a rhino. Only then do we have a chance at saving them.

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 hashtag #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/

PARTNER

WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. As one of WWF’s international hubs, WWF-Singapore supports a global network spanning over 100 countries. We work to meet key conservation goals, such as deforestation, haze pollution, food security, sustainable finance, sustainable consumption and illegal wildlife trade.