A Rhinoceros sculpture designed by Land Rover Chief Design Officer, Gerry McGovern, has helped Tusk raise over R11.5-million in aid of endangered rhinos at auction.
Twenty-one unique 1.2m-long Rhino sculptures were created in honour of the Tusk Rhino Trail, the London-based public art installation which concluded on World Rhino Day on 22 September.
The auction took place on the eve of the first Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference which will be hosted by the UK government. The conference will bring together global leaders to help eradicate illegal wildlife trade and better protect the world’s most iconic species from the threat of extinction.
The 21 works of art were devised by a host of internationally respected artists and designers for Tusk, a British Conservation charity set up in 1990 to help to protect African wildlife.
The design of the Land Rover Rhino used specialist paint techniques from Land Rover’s state-of-the-art manufacturing process to achieve a highly durable liquid metal finish.
Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Officer, Land Rover, said:“I wanted to celebrate the magnificence of this unique creature, so my Rhino is covered in a chrome finish. The idea being that because of the highly reflective nature of chrome it would be seen from a long distance, consequently creating awareness of the plight of this animal in Africa. The red painted horn signifies the absurdity of this beautiful animal being hunted for such a small part of its overall being.”
Traditionally chrome has been used on vehicles to communicate prestige. Land Rover has developed an innovative and sustainable process to create a modern interpretation of chrome using a paint coating called spray chrome.
Inspired by the dye treatments conservationists use to protect Rhinos from ivory traders, the horn of the Land Rover sculpture has been painted red, highlighting the plight of this endangered creature. White ivory has huge value to poachers and one solution is to inject Rhino horns with a dye, making them less appealing to hunters.
Chris Thorp, Responsible Business Director, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “We are delighted to have helped Tusk raise over £600,000 at auction, all of which will go to supporting their vital work in wildlife conservation. In our long-standing partnership we are continuing to enable Tusk to reach remote territories using Land Rover’s all-terrain capability, making it the perfect fit for conservation work all around the world.”