A statue of the last surviving northern white rhinoceros that belong to a Czech zoo and have lived in a Kenyan nature reserve since 2009, was built at a lower Manhattan square in New York to highlight the species threatened with extinction, the German press agency dpa reported on Friday.
The British-Australian artistic couple of Gillie and Marc Shattner created a sculpture consisting of three rhinos standing one on each other, with the rhino in between being upside down. The sculpture is five metres high and the authors say it is the biggest statue of rhinoceros in the world.
It is a memento reminding that the world will soon lose this majestic animal, a white rhino subspecies, the authors said, alluding to scientists’ unsuccessful attempts at an artificial reproduction of the northern white rhino. The three last surviving specimen are Sudan, a male, and the females Najin and Fatu. The zoo in Dvur Kralove nad Labem, east Bohemia, had them transferred to Kenya’s Ol Pejeta reserve in hope they might have offspring in the wild, but the hopes did not come true and the natural reproduction of the rhinos can no longer be expected.
Originally, four rhinos were transferred to Kenya from the Dvur Kralove zoo, but one of them, male Suni, died of high age in 2014. All other northern white rhinos living in world zoos died in recent years as well.
Late last year, the health condition of Sudan started worsening, but most recently, Ol Pejeta reported its slight improvement.