Stella is a star in the making

A life-size, star-spangled rhino is the mascot of a major new local project linking public art and conservation.

The sculpture has been painted with a dramatic night sky filled with nebulae, galaxies and constellations. The striking creation is the first design of The Great Big Rhino Project, which is celebrating rhino conservation at Paignton Zoo and raising funds for charity.

Paignton Zoo Director of Marketing & Development Pippa Craddock said: “The Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust ran a staff competition to design a rhino. The joint winning entries were by Director of Conservation, Research and Advocacy Dr. Amy Plowman and groundskeeper Julie Cocker. They both did fabulous night skies, so we have combined them.”

The design has been created on the three-dimensional sculpture by Paignton Zoo artist Sue Misselbrook.

Life-size model rhinos are being sponsored by businesses and community groups, painted in original designs by specially-commissioned artists and displayed in public, creating a unique art trail around Torbay and Exeter.

Pippa: “The Great Big Rhino Project is all about celebration, conservation and collaboration. It will showcase the wealth of creativity in our area and will contribute to economic, cultural and social life locally.”

In addition, the Great Big Rhino Project will generate community and education projects highlighting the significant conservation threats to rhinos and show how local businesses are helping to make a difference.

Money raised will go to Paignton Zoo’s work in Zimbabwe and to Save the Rhino International’s efforts to save Javan and Sumatran rhinos. The Great Big Rhinos will come alive on Saturday 30th July 2016.

Rhinos have been around for 40 million years. There are five species: black, white, greater one-horned, Javan and Sumatran. All of these are threatened with extinction – three are Critically Endangered as defined by the IUCN (World Conservation Union). This means that they will not survive without massive and urgent action.

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Published: 7th Mar

Great Big Rhinos finish on a high

Great Big Rhinos finish on a high

The Great Big Rhino Project has come to an end with a successful charity auction that raised £123,000.

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