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Weald artist's sculpture of last rhino shortlisted for award

The world’s last male northern white rhinoceros has been recreated in bronze, with it hoped that the sculpture will raise awareness of the subspecies’ bleak future.
 
Sudan is one of only three of the critically endangered northern white rhinos still living, and the initial proceeds from this project, which total more than $3,000, will go towards laboratory equipment needed for IVF treatment.
 
Camilla Le May, 42, lives just outside Lamberhurst and is the artist behind the sculpture, which she says took “much longer than normal” to complete and has been shortlisted for the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year award.
Sudan in bronze. Picture credit Matthew Hollow

Sudan in bronze. Picture credit: Matthew Hollow

 
Her aim was to record the subspecies before they’re gone, with extinction feared to be on the horizon and 43-year-old Sudan “at the end of his life.”
 
She spent five months at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya where Sudan has lived since 2009, having previously been in a zoo in the Czech Republic.
 
“He’s like a big tame dog so you can get right up to him and I took extensive measurements,” said Ms Le May.
Camilla Le May gets up close and personal with Sudan. Picture credit Thomas Rowell

Camilla Le May gets up close and personal with Sudan. Picture credit: Thomas Rowell

 
“I was going probably three or four days a week to see him.”
 
Northern white rhinos have been poached to near extinction for their horn, which is used in Chinese medicine and more valuable than gold, despite being made from keratin - the same substance as human fingernails - and having no medicinal value.
 
The work will be on display at the Mall Galleries in London from Tuesday, June 28 to Saturday, July 2, and then the Rountree Tryon Galleries.
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