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SOURCE San Antonio Zoo
Zoo will become permanent home of the largest rhino sculpture in the world
SAN ANTONIO, Dec. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Early next year, the largest rhino sculpture in the world, The Last Three, will make its way to San Antonio Zoo. The 17-foot tall bronze sculpture, currently installed in Brooklyn's Metro Tech Commons In New York City, will arrive at San Antonio Zoo at the same time that the zoo will celebrate the opening of its new and improved rhino habitat in early Spring 2019.
"San Antonio Zoo is honored to become the permanent new home of the world's largest rhino sculpture," said Tim Morrow, CEO and Executive Director of San Antonio Zoo. "As we have revised our vision and mission at San Antonio Zoo, a new focus on conservation has emerged. Our zoo's logo features two iconic animals, the giraffe and rhino which are both on the brink of extinction and both of which are species we are working to save. It is fitting to bring this iconic artwork to San Antonio as we open the rhino habitat, the latest in our ongoing expansion projects."
Currently installed in New York City by award-winning contemporary artists Gillie and Marc, the planet's tallest rhino sculpture was unveiled a mere 4-days before the shocking death of Sudan, the last male Northern white rhino, leaving only two females of the species left on the planet. The sculpture became a powerful memorial, to which residents and tourists flocked, leaving flowers at its base and petitioning for change.
Gillie and Marc, referred to by the media as "the world's most loving artists," are extraordinary public artists who have worked side-by-side for over 25-years to create art as one. The mission of Gillie and Marc's sculpture coincides beautifully with that of San Antonio Zoo. The Last Three was created to establish a legacy of Sudan and his species through art, spreading awareness and inspiring action to save all rhino from extinction.
"A year and a half ago, Gillie and I traveled to Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya to visit Sudan, as well as his daughter Najin, and granddaughter Fatu," said Marc. "The experience shook us to the core, and we returned home vowing to dedicate the rest of our lives to protecting rhinos from extinction in the best way we know how – through our art."
While it's sadly too late for Northern white rhinos, San Antonio Zoo plans to receive two female Southern white rhinos from other zoological facilities when the sculpture arrives, and a male shortly after that to begin a breeding program for the rhinos. The zoo hopes to re-establish its rhino breeding program. In 1972, San Antonio Zoo was the first zoo in North America to have a successful Southern white rhino birth and has had 19 successful rhino births since. Fittingly, zoo officials are thrilled to bring this iconic artwork, and more rhinos to San Antonio.
The sculpture will come with a high-tech addition. INDE, one of the top Augmented Reality (AR) companies that develops interactive and immersive products, has teamed up with Gillie and Marc, as well as the San Antonio Zoo to help save rhinos by bringing The Last Three to life within the zoo. INDE is creating an AR app so that visitors can 'adopt' the Northern white rhinos and help protect them. Once downloaded to smart devices, San Antonio Zoo guests will be able to see likenesses of rhinos roaming within the space of the zoo's sculpture. 78% of proceeds from INDE's app will go towards Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.
"We want The Last Three to celebrate all of the amazing people and organizations that drive positive change in wildlife conservation," says Gillie, "However, our goal is also to continue the efforts of San Antonio Zoo, and inspire generations to join the battle for rhino conservation."
About San Antonio Zoo
San Antonio Zoo®, operated by San Antonio Zoological Society, is a non-profit organization committed to securing a future for wildlife. Through its passion and expertise in animal care, conservation, and education, the zoo's mission is to inspire its community to love, engage with, act for and protect animals and the places they live. The zoo welcomes more than a million visitors each year and is open year-round. San Antonio Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Zoological Association of America, and Humane Certified by American Humane. For additional information visit www.sazoo.org
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