The Great Big Rhino Project 2016


Paignton Zoo’s The Great Big Rhinos Project aimed to raise awareness and funds to help critically endangered rhinos. The Project saw a trail of 40 sturdily stunning rhinos across the streets, parks and open spaces of Exeter and the English Riviera.

Image: Paignton Zoo

Image: Paignton Zoo

Thunderous Auction Result


The Great Big Rhino Project has come to an end with a successful charity auction that raised £123,000.

Money raised through the Project and the charity Auction will be channelled through Save the Rhino International.  Rhinos have been around for 40 million years, so it’s no wonder they look positively prehistoric!  There are five species: Black, White, Greater One-horned, Javan and Sumatran. All are threatened with extinction, with three classed as Critically Endangered, as defined by the IUCN (World Conservation Union). Sadly, this means that they will not survive without massive and urgent action.

Rhinos at Paignton Zoo

Image: Paignton Zoo

The Great Big Rhinos was ‘charged’ with keeping the public entertained for ten weeks from Saturday 30 July – Sunday 9 October 2016 across Exeter and the English Riviera.

They made one final, thunderous appearance together at the Auction on Thursday 3 November where, prompted by the awesome animals’ very real plight, people bidded generously to help save the wild rhinos.

Why not take a mini collectable rhino home! Buy all things rhino related online from the official store .


160802 rhino shop banner

BIG Rhino Tips


Don’t miss Bigwave Media’s rhino, painted with abstract African leaves in various shades of green. Among the leaves you have to find ‘Faru’, the brightly-coloured rhino (Faru is Swahili for rhino). The full service, creative marketing agency held a teambuilding day to come up with their Great Big Rhino design. Teams had just two hours to develop their creative concepts. The winning design was chosen via a staff poll and a digital survey link, asking the wider public for their opinions. Team Javan and its rhino, Finding Faru, emerged victorious! The winning concept reminds us how hard it will be to find rhinos without massive human intervention and soon.

One rhino, in particular, was determined to make a BIG entrance – pulled by a steam train! Paignton By Numbers (surely a pun-tastic title winner!) was sponsored by the Dartmouth Steam Railway and Riverboat Company and designed by Rachel Shilston.  The rhino departed from Paignton station at 11.30 on Friday 22 July, aboard a special train, which stopped at Churston station before reaching Kingswear – his holiday-home destination for the duration of The Great Big Rhinos Project.


Image: Tom Smith

Image: Tom Smith

Paignton by Numbers  is designed to appear unfinished, but does feature some of Paignton’s favourite landmarks, including the Zoo, the pier and the beach huts at Goodrington Sands. Andrew Pooley, Managing Director at steam railway said: “There’s a natural connection between rhinos and steam engines – they both look ironclad, they both snort and steam when they are at full tilt, they are both endangered species – and they are both wonderful to see in their natural habitat!”


Artists in the Spotlight


Invincible? by Stuart Wright

Invincible? by Stuart Wright

Exeter-based artist, Stuart Wright, has created a rhino superhero – in his garage – using genuine BMW and MINI paints, donated by the rhino’s sponsors, Ocean Torbay BMW and MINI.  Stuart looked to an iconic comic book and big screen character for his design, and clad his life-size, fibreglass rhino in a replica of the famous ‘Iron Man’ armour. He has called his supercharged creation Invincible? to make the point that rhinos may look tough but they are increasingly vulnerable to extinction.

For an extra touch of visual pizzazz, Invincible?’s eyes and the chest piece have solar powered LED lights that charge during the day and come on at twilight!


Charge up your devices for GREAT BIG rhino news! and follow on Twitter and Facebook

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