“I was walking down the road and for a moment I just stopped. Is that a Rhino sitting outside the café?!” The comments of a passer by.
This has been our 5th year at the East Neuk Festival celebrating classical music and Jazz. The festival also has strong conservation routes and together we decided to make a larger than life White Rhino and calf to sit outside the Honey Pot Café. It is to draw attention to the poaching currently taking place in Africa due to the rising demand for ivory in Asia worth 12bn per year and that threatens their existence.
A decade ago less than 100 Rhinos were poached in South Africa per year compared to 1000 now and more than 22,000 elephants were poached for their tusks. This is not surprising considering ivory is currently worth more than gold. The demand is largely from the rising middle class in China and Vietnam where ivory is considered a status symbol and to have medicinal qualities. Jackie Chan has spearheaded a campaign to save the Rhino and says that “When the buying stops then the killing can too,” that ivory is the same substance as the hair on your head and your finger nails and has no medicinal effect.
The poachers themselves are the same people who sell illegal drugs, weapons and even humans, but with significantly less legal consequences. General consensus is to curb demand as was done in Europe and America during the 1980’s A summit took place in London in February 2014 with African heads of state and officials from over 50 countries to make a strategy for eliminating the illegal ivory trade that is threatening the existence of the Rhino and Elephant. Hopefully this will take affect. So for now there is a white Rhino in Crail that you can see sitting outside the Honey Pot café. But remember it is just made of sand!