This is an emotional painting - highlighting the impact the illegal wildlife trade has on each animal. The illegal wildlife trade is the fourth most profitable transnational crime, only behind the drug trade, arms trade, and human trafficking. Many rhinos are removed of their horns in a procedure called 'dehorning', in order to deter poachers from killing them as their main target is their horn.
To support the painting, I have written articles and conducted research on the illegal wildlife trade and rhino conservation efforts. In an interview with a veterinarian who was involved in dehorning procedures, he wrote, "Our job was to go out and remove the horns from the Rhinos to keep poachers from targeting them...It is a very intense operation due to the unanticipated and aggressive nature of these animals and takes multiple people to get the job done. People are working as fast as they can, and everyone has a specific job." Read the full interview and learn more about dehorning in my article 'De-horning the Rhino: A Temporary Solution to an Ongoing Problem'.
'Dehorned Rhino' is an oil painting on a linen canvas. It is part of my collection 'Inside Africa: Wildlife Conservation and the Illegal Wildlife Trade', a collection dedicated to raising awareness of the daily realities of endangered species in southern Africa and to raising funds for conservation and anti-poaching efforts. The painting is inspired by the photograph taken by David Chancellor, a London born award-winning documentary photographer. I am grateful that he has permitted me to use his image for the painting. We have partnered to donate 20% of proceeds of the painting to For Rangers, a charity who are raising money for the welfare of rangers who risk their lives daily to protect Africa’s endangered species.
Inspiration for the painting and photograph by David Chancellor, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/160122-Hume-South-Africa-rhino-farm