A life-sized rhino sculpture designed by an intern at Kennovations Product Design and Engineering helped raise $18,000 at a charity fundraising auction for Taronga Zoo’s rhino breeding and conservation program.

The ‘ElectroRhino’ was one of 125 life-sized rhino sculptures displayed at the Taronga Wild! Rhinos, an innovative public exhibition held on the streets of Sydney, Dubbo and various country regions since February 2014. The exhibition of rhino sculptures, which aimed to raise public awareness on the loss of rhinos through poaching and habitat, also included the works of artists such as Ken Done and Camilla Franks.

From the thousands of design submissions made by designers, Taronga Zoo chose 125 to come to life as sculptures.

The 12-week Taronga Wild! Rhinos exhibition concluded with the auction offering an opportunity for members of the public to purchase the original artworks. ElectroRhino was one of the highest bids received at the auction, selling for $18,000 to a private bidder, Michael Sophocles. In all, the auction saw 45 of the sculptures being sold and shipped off to their new homes.

The ElectroRhino sculpture was designed by Kennovations intern Jane Tunistra, and was constructed of black carbon fibre lined with neon lighting to give a modern electro feel. Jane, an industrial product design student from the Netherlands, was on an exchange program in Australia as part of her tertiary studies during the construct of ElectroRhino and has since returned home to pursue a career in design.