Six-year-old Frankie hatches a plan to save the world’s rarest rhinos from extinction

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Six-year-old Frankie hatches a plan
to save the world’s rarest rhinos from extinction

While most kids his age are talking to their friends about Pokémon, young Frankie is holding his own in front of city councillors to share his vision for raising awareness – and vital funds – for the critically endangered northern white rhino.

Thursday, 27th July 2017

Frankie (aged 6 ¾) has a dream. He imagines a future in which northern white rhinos once again roam in the wild, free from the threat of extinction and free from the threat of poachers.

He also has a plan.

Partnering with Fauna & Flora International, he will be fundraising for Ol Pejeta Conservancy, which is home to the last three northern white rhinos on the planet. His project – ‘RhinosUp’ – launches today: www.rhinosup.com.

Frankie’s ambitious and novel idea is to create a piece of public art in one of his local parks in Cambridge, UK. He wants to create a living sculpture out of bee-friendly plants in the shape of a northern white rhino. In his words, he wants “the flowers to come UP and the rhinos to come UP from the dead. That’s why I call it RhinosUp.”

He has presented his proposal to the Cambridge East Area City Council Committee and is working with them to turn his vision into a reality.

RhinosUp
Little Frankie poses with a wooden rhino.

Putting rhinos in the public eye

There are only three northern white rhinos left in the world, including just one surviving male: Sudan. All three live at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, where they are kept under constant guard to protect them from poachers.

Frankie hopes his flowerbed will make people think about what is happening to rhinos and see it as a terrible example of the impact that humankind can have.

“Like the loss of habitats threatens our bees here in this part of the world, I hope this piece of public art will remind us about how we are all connected.”

Watch the video to hear Frankie explain the difference between black and white rhinos, and his plan for saving them.

Frankie’s goal is to raise a massive £48,000 – the equivalent of the cost of a rhino horn on the black market. In his eyes, this is a modest target if we are to “show that poaching and extinction has to end.”

The funds will go to support Ol Pejeta Conservancy’s incredible work to protect rhinos. Not only is the conservancy home to the last three northern white rhinos, it also boasts East Africa’s largest population of black rhinos – another critically endangered species.

“I am making a special trip to the UK to meet with Frankie,” said Richard Vigne, Ol Pejeta’s CEO. “I am amazed at what this formidable young man has managed to achieve at such a young age. If only the world were made of more people like him, we would not be facing the extinction crisis that we currently are. The northern white rhinos need all the help they can get, and what Frankie is doing will make a huge difference in how we protect them and for the survival of the species.”

Frankie’s ‘RhinosUp’ project officially launches today – visit www.rhinosup.com. You can also follow the project on Facebook, Twitter  and Instagram, and you can share his amazing story using the hashtag #RhinosUp.

- Ends -

For more information, high resolution images, original video files, or to enquire about an interview with Frankie, please contact:

Shirlene Badger (Frankie’s secretary – a.k.a. Mum)
Email: rhinosup@talktalk.net

Or

Olivia Bailey (Communications Assistant at Fauna & Flora International)
Email: olivia.bailey@fauna-flora.org
Tel: +44 (0)1223 747660

Or

Elodie Sampere (PR & Marketing Manger at Ol Pejeta Conservancy)
Email: elodie.sampere@olpejetaconservancy.org
Tel: +254 727 341 612