Huge rhino on London street brings conservation message to life

UPDATE: The mural is complete – and we think it looks stunning! Here's a photo of the completed work.

Rhino mural by street artist Sonny in Croydon, London in collaboration with IFAW

It's rare that you get to spend much time with people with a combination of passion for conservation and exceptional artistic talent, but this week I've been doing exactly that. 

The internationally renowned street artist, Sonny, has just arrived in the UK as part of his To The Bone world tour in conjunction with IFAW. The tour is drawing attention to the destruction and extinction of rare animals, whilst raising funds for, and awareness of, animal welfare and conservation. 

As part of the tour, Sonny has already completed stunning murals in New York, Johannesburg, Toronto, Vladivostok and they've been getting a whole load of attention from locals and the media alike. 

South African artist Sonny brings his unique murals to London

It was over two years ago when Sonny, his manager Tess, and I first spoke to discuss the initial concept of working together on this tour and now seeing him in action and watching the stunning image of a rhino alongside a young girl appear day by day has been phenomenal. Sonny, who is completely self-taught, is definitely a name to look out for. The colours and realism of his works are amazing. Stunning rhino mural appears on Croydon High Street courtesy of street artist Sonny

This mural is timely too – just a week or so ago an auction took place for rhino horn in South Africa, after a successful High Court challenge overturned the previous ban. IFAW, and all leading conservationists, fear that open sale of a limited supply of rhino horn will only do more harm than good when it comes to rhino poaching. 

I hope this magnificent mural and the attention it gets locally and in the media will make everyone think a little bit harder about what we can do to protect our planet's wildlife. 

The mural can be found on the corner of High Street and Fell Road in Croydon. It will be completed by the end of this weekend, so if you’re in the area, go and check it out and leave a comment to let us know what you think! You can also learn more about the project and buy exclusive prints here (and 10% of sales revenue goes to IFAW).


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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
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