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Rhino Repair Squad hits the streets

Plastic Surgeon has been tasked with repairing potential damage to life-sized rhino sculptures as part of Paignton Zoo’s Great Big Rhinos Project. The project aims to increase awareness of the work the zoo does towards rhino conservation, as well as raising funds to help their preservation through the implementation of a rhino sculpture trail.

Plastic Surgeon, which operates throughout the UK but has its head office in Bovey Tracey, Devon, has been given the task of

rhino repair squad van

looking after the 42 rhinos that will make up the Great Big Rhino Trail which is set to run for 10 weeks this summer.

Each sponsored by a local business, the life-size model rhinoceroses weigh around 40 kilos and come complete with a concrete plinth. Individually painted by talented artists the sculptures will be scattered around Exeter and the English Riviera in public places, forming a trail that enthusiasts are encouraged to follow in order to see each of the designs.

Their exposure to the elements, accidental damage and even potential vandalism, means a dedicated team of Plastic Surgeon’s Finishers is on hand to make good any mishap that befalls the rhinos. The team will operate from special repair vans, which will be liveried in Rhino Repair Squad colours.

Cathy Baillie, Marketing Manager at Plastic Surgeon, said: “The Great Big Rhino Project is a fantastic way of raising awareness of the plight of rhinos. Conservation plays an essential part in maintaining such a magnificent species, so the importance of the project can’t be underplayed. As enthusiastic backers, we’ve offered our services to keep any potential surface damage in check.”

Whilst the repair squad plays one part, the team at Plastic Surgeon has also sponsored one of the rhinos themselves, naming it repair squad hqHope. Many of the rhinos are brightly painted and decorated in flamboyant colours, but Hope has been painted in a life-like style and, uniquely to the rest of the sculptures, has her horn sawn off to demonstrate the threat that real rhinos face from poachers in the wild.

Cathy continued: “Hope is the most sombre of the rhinos that make up the trail, with her missing horn being a poignant reminder of the danger and cruelty that threatens these animals. We’re hoping that she remains the only sculpture with a missing horn – but if any others do get damaged we’ll be there to rectify it.”

Cathy concluded: “We’re really looking forward to seeing the full trail in place and can’t wait to see the other designs up close. Locals should keep an eye out for our rhino repair vans – they shouldn’t be hard to spot! Let’s hope though that ultimately the team isn’t needed. The rhinos are auctioned off at the end of their time on the trail so we want them in as pristine a condition as possible to help raise as much funding as we can.”

Follow Hope the rhino on Twitter: @Hope_Rhino

To find out more about the Great Rhino’s Project visit

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