Rhinos have taken over the World Parks Congress host city! They’re everywhere; they’re in our parks, along our streetscapes, even on the steps of the iconic Sydney Opera House!
Now if you think that this is a joke, or you’ve misread the above sentence…you haven’t.
Ok, so the rhinoceros aren’t real, rather they are life-sized Black Rhinoceros sculptures which have been decorated and placed around the countryside.
The colourful exhibition is the brain-child of Taronga Conservation Society Australia, and is an inspiring and innovative way to get the Australian public aware and involved in biodiversity conservation.
In 2013, a record number of Black Rhinoceros were poached, if this continues at such an alarming rate deaths will outstrip births by 2016.
55 life-sized adult Black Rhinoceros were designed by well-known Australian artists and 70 calves were decorated by Australian school children.
NSW Environment Minister, Robyn Parker, the domestic co-hosting Minister for the IUCN World Parks Congress announced the launch of the Wild!Rhinos art project, saying: “Taronga Zoo has taken conservation beyond the zoos and into the community to inspire conservation awareness through art.”
“Schools from across the state will have their rhino’s displayed in major shopping centres from Sunday and have participated in an education program to learn more about conservation efforts.”
This is a great example of an innovative program being rolled out in the Congress host country to inspire and involve a new generation in a fun and engaging way, whilst bringing different communities together for the benefit of conservation.
Taronga Zoo hopes to raise $400,000 at an auction of the sculptures in May to support their breeding and field conservation programs for rhinoceros.
People can explore the trail using digital mediums like QR codes to capture their discoveries and learn more about rhinos. Locations in Sydney include Customs House, the Opera House, the Botanic Gardens, Pitt Street Mall, Bondi and Manly.