Mangelsen Black Rhino Fund – Art as a force for good
Originally published by Jamie Joseph on Virgin Unite, 31 January 2019
Saving the Wild’s mandate is to eradicate organised crime enabling wildlife poaching.
And with less than 5,000 black rhinos left in the wild, it is our duty as a wildlife charity to protect the diminishing gene pool of the black rhino, and at the same time, tell the story of this magnificent species that survived the ice age and can survive almost anything, but human greed.
Thomas D. Mangelsen is committed to this cause and has created a 16 image Saving the Wild Collection – donating half of all proceeds to Saving the Wild. This is Tom’s rarest collection ever – with only five prints per image – and it is from this collection and from using ‘art as a force for good’ that the Mangelsen Black Rhino Fund was born.
“Mother Nature paints with a grandeur that I cannot even begin to imitate. And although I often tried to take photographs, they were dull and poor, baring no resemblance to the glowing originals. And so I had to be content with my memories. Until, that is, I met Tom Mangelsen, and visited one of his Images of Nature galleries.”
-Dr Jane Goodall, Saving the Wild Champion
Saving the Wild is teaming up with Saving the Survivors – the vets behind some of the most daring rescues of injured rhinos – and together we have identified key projects, and individual rhinos who will benefit from the Mangelsen Black Rhino Fund. This includes the next black rhino to be saved from butchering poachers and the next baby rhino orphan who has two years of rehabilitation and growing up to go through before being released back into the wild.
Capturing the rescue and rehabilitation as it unfolds, we would like the audience to experience what it really takes to keep saving the wild. We have also identified a young female black rhino, affectionately known as ‘Goose’, who was shot in the foot inside ‘ground zero’ Kruger – we want to be there when she finally takes her first steps to freedom. And, our greatest hope, is that she goes on to have lots of rhino babies.
Photo credit: Saving the Survivors | Founder Dr Johan Marais attends to a butchered rhino.
All of these struggles are stories of resilience, courage and hope. Saving the Wild art collectors can now look at their rhino, or elephant, or big cat hanging on their wall, and know that they really did make a difference – because every life saved is the difference.
Black Rhino – Field of Dreams
Backlight creates a dramatic scene as the long grass transforms from wheat to gold and a rising sun splashes across the impressive black rhino in a delicate dance of light and texture. My eyes were drawn towards all the finer details of the iconic species; the mud that cakes his prehistoric skin, his soft herbivore mouth, and the hairs that stand on the edge of his ears. Rhinos have excellent hearing and smell that make up for their poor eye sight, but that didn’t stop him from coming so close to inspect me that I could hear him breathing. An exhilarating experience I will never forget – Thomas D. Mangelsen | Saving the Wild Collection
Black Rhino – Profile of an Icon
The bull strides towards the west, stopping to breathe in the wild air of the land. He turns parallel to our vehicle as Tom and I suddenly feel the flux of history. From his two horns to the high tip of his spine, the black rhino’s imposing profile assaults the senses like nothing else on earth. It is our duty as guardians of the natural world to ensure rhinos don’t end up in a museum with the dinosaurs. These prehistoric mega-herbivores are the last living descendant of a lifetime 50 million years ago. If we lose the rhinoceros we are amputating pieces of our own humanity. And so we fight. We fight for every breath – Jamie Joseph | Saving the Wild Collection
Art collectors can now contribute towards the survival of the rare black rhino. View the entire Saving the Wild Collection. | Upcoming event: October 5, Denver, Colorado with special guest speakers Thomas D. Mangelsen and Saving the Wild founder Jamie Joseph