Cavanna Homes’ ‘Rhinosaur’ rides on a Manitou to its new home at Living Coasts
The newest member of Cavanna Homes – a life-sized model of a rhinoceros – has arrived in style at its new home at Torquay’s Living Coasts Zoo and Aquarium.
Arriving on the front of a Manitou fork lift, the Cavanna Homes Rhinosaur will now guard the gates of Living Coasts until the end of September, before being auctioned to raise money for Paignton Zoo’s Great Big Rhino Project.
The aim of the project is to increase awareness of the threat of extinction facing rhinos and to raise vital funds that will be channelled through ‘Save the Rhino International’ and used to support anti-poaching patrols around rhino reserves.
West Country homebuilder, Cavanna Homes, commissioned artist Mandii Pope to design a life-sized rhinoceros in the style of a dinosaur to remind people how real the threat of extinction is.
Staff from Cavanna Homes have some very personal reasons for supporting the homebuilder’s sponsorship of Paignton Zoo’s Great Big Rhino Project.
Sales Advisor Jess Taylor, who works at Cavanna Homes’ Fusion development of 220 new homes not far from Paignton Zoo, was born in Kenya, so has first-hand experience of seeing the animals in the wild and in sanctuaries.
Jess said: “Poaching was always quite a big issue in Africa, not just for rhinos, and it was awful to see the orphaned rhino babies in sanctuaries.
“They have to bottle feed the babies in the sanctuaries and I know there are a lot of dedicated people working hard to reintroduce them into the wild. I’ve always favoured conservation methods which work in the animals’ natural environment, which is why I’m so glad Cavanna are supporting the Great Big Rhino Project.
“It seems that the more people know about the issues around endangered species, the more can be done to help support them, which is why awareness-raising initiatives such as this one are so welcome for the rhino.”
Another Cavanna employee who has seen the animals in the wild at first hand is Jeremy Dymond, who went on a safari in Kenya when honeymooning with wife Lynda 18 years ago.
Jeremy, Cavanna’s Land Appraisal Manager, said: “We saw white rhinos in the wild at Lake Naivasha from only a couple of hundred yards away.
“Later we went to a reserve where there was an orphaned youngster, it is thought the mother had been killed by poachers for her horns. Even 18 years ago there was a lot of concern about this kind of thing and the baby actually had an armed guard.
“We were allowed to go up to it and touch it. I remember thinking that its skin felt like it looked- quite rough.
“It was quite an experience. Rhinos are magnificent animals, at the top of an ecosystem that needs to be looked after in its entirety.”