Wooly Rhinoceros ( Coelondonta antiquitatis)

Looking at the first human encounters with rhinoceros I found amazing evidence of Wooly Rhinoceros drawings in Chauvet Cave as well as Cave Les Combarelles.  From sites in Russia and Asia ,beautiful horns were also gathered, with  fossil species to view at London’s Natural History Museum as well as the Ice Age Museum in Moscow.  Some are well preserved due to ice and oil saturated soils.  These readings motivated the start of my exploration with naturalistic style drawings of the horn and skull – I viewed the famous prints of Albrecht Durer and Jan Wandelaar.  I learnt that habitat threats and hunting  caused the Wooly type to become extinct around 10 000 years ago. I made a visit to the Natural History Museum in Pretoria, but was disappointed with the lack of fossil species, and or anatomical studies of our White and Black Rhinoceros…..how I wished I could visit London’s Natural History Museum.

their horns are not safe in a museum

A work in progress — how I fear that National HIstory Museums would become the only place to view the Rhinoceros species.

Information that also captured my thought process was numbers on Rhinoceros in the world.  By the start of the 20th century the numbers was at  500 000 in the world; by 1970 this worldwide population dropped to 70 000.  Today it is estimated that we have around 29 000 rhinos surviving in the world.  I surfed the WWW and sites like  Oxpeckers, RHODIS,  Rhinorecourcenter, Africa Wildlife Detective, the South African Dept of Environmental Affairs, Peace Park Foundation, WWF, International Anti Poaching Foundation, Havocscope, Global Investigative Journalism, National Geographic,  AmaBhungane, Interpol and daily newspapers cover stories of poaching and criminal cases with regards to poachers

and crime syndicates, became my daily informants and documentary of the plight of the Rhinoceros which I was now starting to take as my own artistic journey.

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