Through an innovative awareness and fundraising approach, Marwell Wildlife is engaging businesses, schools and communities in support of conservation efforts for the endangered Grevy’s zebra in Kenya.
With investment from businesses, Marwell’s Zany Zebras has worked with artists to create 47 strikingly designed zebra sculptures which will be auctioned. Organisations of all sizes joined the stampede – from family run businesses such as Pickwell Farm, Renaissance Interiors and Greenspan to national brands such as Hobbycraft and Lorica to the international brands of Southampton Football Club, Cunard & P&O Cruises. These imaginatively decorated statues have formed the basis for a trail in Southampton to provide an entertaining means of engaging with hundreds of thousands of people to highlight the urgent conservation needs for Grevy’s zebra and the ecosystems in northern Kenya that they and local pastoralist communities rely upon.
Furthermore, 100 schools have participated through decorating smaller sculptures. Each of these schools was visited in turn by Marwell’s “Education Ranger”, providing educational materials about the species and engaging the pupils and teachers in activities to explore the issues surrounding their conservation. In total, 16,500 school children from nursery age to sixth form students were involved.
This initiative will contribute valuable funding to our work in northern Kenya. As well as undertaking fundamental research on Grevy’s zebra and their ecosystems, and conservation work to reverse declines, we also support local communities to undertake wildlife monitoring and protection in one of the poorest and most inhospitable parts of the world. Like our fundraising, our projects use creative approaches to tackle the multiple threats facing Grevy’s zebra, including issues of regional poverty and insecurity that underpin many of the problems. These include actions to develop peaceful cooporation between tribes, provide education and employment opportunities to women and enhance the roles of poor communities and in particular women in planning and decision making. To learn more, please see our Grevy’s zebra project pages.
In 2013 Marwell Wildlife ran the hugely successful Go! Rhinos event which saw a stampede of colourful rhino sculptures charge through Southampton City Centre. The art trail was created by thousands and enjoyed by hundreds of thousands. The project was successful in building links with the local community; enthusing thousands of children about conservation and raising £125,000 at the charity fundraising auction.