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Frankie. Credit Tom Aveling.

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

Posted on: 27.07.17 (Last edited) 27 July 2017

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.

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 in Kenya, which is home to the last three northern white rhinos on the planet. His project – ‘RhinosUp’ – launches today: www.rhinosup.com.


Frankie explains the difference between black and white rhinos, and his plan for saving them. Please help by visiting www.rhinosup.com and making a donation.

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.

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 in Kenya, 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.”

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.

Northern white rhino. © Maurice Schutgens.

There is only one male northern white rhino left on earth. © Maurice Schutgens.

“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 – please help him by by visiting www.rhinosup.com and making a donation.

You can also follow the project on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and you can share his amazing story using the hashtag #RhinosUp.

Written by
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Sarah Rakowski

Sarah is Fauna & Flora International's Communications Manager. With a BSc in Environment, Economics and Ecology, she has long been fascinated with the challenge of balancing human needs and environmental protection.

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