ABOUT THE ANIMAL
The Northern White Rhino is sadly one of the animals that we may see go extinct in our lifetimes. With only two left in the world, both females, the species is considered functionally extinct. The two remaining rhinos, Fatu and her daughter Najin are kept in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya under 24-hour surveillance. It is heartbreaking that this is necessary, but with poaching for their precious horns being such a threat they cannot risk it. Their horns are made of keratin, the same substance as our hair and fingernails, and is used in traditional Chinese medicines. Even though it has been scientifically proven to have no benefits it is still in high demand, fuelling a thriving trade on the black market. Now, all rhinos are in trouble and it so important that we raise awareness so we can stop this trade once and for all, protecting one of our most iconic animals in the process.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
For a brief moment in history, on 19 March 2018 the world stopped as news spread about the tragic loss of Sudan, the last male northern white rhino. However, in light of this news, there was a glimmer of hope among shattered hearts in the form of a bronze rhino sculpture, titled The Last Three.
Installed in New York City by internationally renowned artists Gillie and Marc, the 5.2-metre tall artwork was launched mere 4 days before the death of Sudan. The sculpture became a powerful memorial, to which millions of residents and tourists flocked.
The mission? Create a legacy of Sudan and his species through art, spreading awareness and inspiring action to save all rhinos from extinction. Following the breathtaking success of The Last Three, Gillie and Marc teamed up with Melbourne’s iconic Republica at St. Kilda Sea Baths and world-class sponsors to continue their endeavour with the launch of history’s most important rhino sculpture, featuring the only remaining northern white rhinos - Najin and Fatu.
The Wonderful Two will be a larger-than-life, 5-meter long representation of Najin and Fatu, and for many, the most surprising sculpture ever seen. “The sculpture will depict Najin and Fatu connected in the middle, with their heads facing opposite directions. Both rhinos are trying to pull each other the opposite way to safety. It seems their fate is stuck in place and time with only two left on earth and no simple direction to freedom,” explains Gillie. “Through the sculpture, we want audiences to understand that, while Najin and Fatu have stuck together in their fight to survive, they are intertwined by the plight of all rhinos and unless humanity steps up to help, they will remain in this place forever,” adds Marc.
On 2nd February 2019, The Wonderful Two was unveiled in Melbourne, offering lifelong memories through a unique and interactive sculpture experience. The bronze immortalization of Najin and Fatu by Australian eco-warrior artists Gillie and Marc will be instrumental in bringing hope to the survival of rhinos!
The sculpture was proudly launched at Republica, St. Kilda Sea Baths, right on the St Kilda foreshore, on Melbourne’s second most visited destination, St Kilda Beach. This is an incredible location that will give visibility and create awareness for this very important cause. This admirable destination attracts millions of tourists each year for its panoramic views of the city skyline and Port Phillip Bay.
Republica: Republica is an iconic Melbourne bar and restaurant that sits at the heart of St Kilda and is designed to service locals and visitors in an informal, relaxed setting befitting its St Kilda Beach location. Experience uninterrupted views whilst you dine, or simply lounge beachside and sip on a cocktail. This unique setting of beach culture invites you to get the sand between your toes or soak up the vibe in the grassy courtyard. This stylish restaurant boasts a beachfront setting, a bar overlooking the water, central open fireplaces and indoor-outdoor dining areas offering dazzling views of Port Phillip Bay. Republica has 3 function spaces the private dining room, lounge and courtyard veranda which can cater for both cocktail and seated events. Republica is owned by a local family who wants to make a positive difference to the local and global environment. They believe that we can live in harmony with our natural world and their support of the ‘The Last Two’ is an important showcase of the fragility of nature. www.republica.net.au
Ol Pejeta: Ol Pejeta is home to two of the world’s last remaining northern white rhinos, and a sanctuary for over 110 critically endangered black rhinos. We work to conserve wildlife, provide a sanctuary for great apes, and to generate income through wildlife tourism and complementary enterprise for reinvestment in conservation and communities. Ol Pejeta partners with international wildlife, security and research specialists to ensure we stay at the forefront of conservation innovation. These partnerships have led to unique data findings and cutting-edge technology; that have contributed to the protection of Ol Pejeta’s diverse species.
St Kilda Sea Baths: The St Kilda Sea Baths are the stunning venue and location of The Wonderful Two! St Kilda Sea Baths house an indoor saltwater pool, Health Club, Kite Boarding, Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) and an array of bars, cafes and restaurants. Located on Melbourne’s most high-profile beach, it is central to Melbourne’s bayside lifestyle. It is well-known as a supporter and educator of the marine environment and the impact of litter on the world’s oceans. St Kilda Sea Baths are located on Melbourne's premier beachfront and overlook the idyllic and picturesque St Kilda Beach, St Kilda Pier and Port Phillip Bay. There is nothing else like it in Australia. With a history dating back to the middle of the 19th Century, this Melbourne institution continues to define the ultimate bayside lifestyle. It is their view that ‘The Last Two’ is a topical example of the massive impact’s humankind is having on our flora and fauna. It shines a bright light on how we must all work together to minimise our impact on the planet. www.seabaths.com.au
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Leonard Joel: Two years ago, Leonard Joel was identified by IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) as the most significant auction trader of ivory in Australia. It was a defining moment as we were made aware that we were part of the value-chain that contributes to the slaughter of these magnificent animals. Under the guidance of IFAW, we introduced a voluntary policy to cease trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn. This policy has had no negative impact on our business, and we now urge our industry colleagues to follow suit.
HOW TO HELP: The sculpture is aligned with the hashtag #LoveTheLast. Visitors will be asked to take a photo with the artwork and share it with the hashtag, jump starting efforts to spread critical awareness. Signage will also educate, and direct the public to a donations page set-up for Najin and Fatu, so they can live out their much-deserved final days in peace at Ol Pejeta Conservancy. You can make a donation here: https://donate.olpejetaconservancy.org/