Last weekend while in Uganda for work, I had the amazing opportunity to visit the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Nakitoma. We drove out to where the rhinos graze and peeked in on a few of them sleeping.

Taleo, the dominant male

The guide and sanctuary brochure were full of all kinds of interesting rhino factoids. For example, the term “White” rhino derives not from the color of the animals but from the dutch word for wide (and they are). They started the sanctuary with four rhinos from Kenya then got two more donated from the US. The offspring are the first rhinos born in Uganda in at least 28 years. Pretty cool. And want to hear something cute? Because the first baby was born to a Kenyan dad and American mom, they named him Obama.What, you might ask, does any of this have to do with garbage? Well, for one thing, the sanctuary itself is an ecotourism destination, low impact, solar powered, etc. More on Northern Uganda and low waste traveling to come (in the meantime, check out Uganda trash photos on the everydaytrash.com Facebook page).

For another thing, my friend Flex Unger just sent me this amazing link to a roundup of used tire sculptures from around the world.

Tire rhino by artist Ji Yong Ho

My favorite, of course, is this rhino by Korean artist Ji Yong Ho. According to this Theme Magazine article:

To Ji, rubber symbolizes mutation. “The product is from nature,” from the white sap of latex trees. “But here it’s changed. The color is black. The look is scary.” He tried experimenting with clay and bronze, but the sculptures looked too much like robots. “Rubber is very flexible, like skin, like muscles,” he explains. It gives him more freedom in capturing the animals’ expressivity—the horse’s wistful glance or the way the hyena cocks its hind leg, ready to spring into an attack.

Artful upcycling.

UPDATE: Rhinos, rhinos everywhere. As soon as I posted on the White rhinos in Uganda, I read this sweet story about Sumatran rhonos in Indonesia. Also, for those who may not know or remember, the official everydaytrash.com mascot is a rhino made of flip flops named P.C.

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3 Responses to “Rhinos”

  1. Bert Leysen Says:

    Wow fantastic article !

    I really like this rubber tire art 🙂

    Rhinos always remind me of a play Rhinocéros a teacher discussed in the French class. It’s written by Ionesco and is about staying human – not becoming a rhino – by being critical towards ‘the rules’ and towards what is considered normal.

  2. Leila Darabi Says:

    Ha, I had to read that play, too. Rhinocérite was a scary disease. I always thought it was funny that we were taught a play about bucking the system in 10th grade, French 3, which was all about grammar and rules.

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