Downton Abbey stars draw 'Save the Rhino' sketches to help save endangered animal
Jude Law and Peter Capaldi also contributed to charity auction
The stars of Downton Abbey and some of Britain’s most famous actors, including Jude Law and Peter Capaldi, have drawn doodles of rhinoceroses to raise money to help save the animal from extinction.
The pictures will be auctioned off to provide funds for anti-poacher dog patrols at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, which is home to four of the world’s nine surviving northern white rhino.
The reserve also protects black rhinoceroses and has regularly been targeted by armed gangs wanting to kill the animals for their horns, which are then sold on the black market for use in traditional medicines in Asia.
“I hope this auction will draw people’s attention to the plight of these magnificent animals and help generate funds to protect wildlife,” said Donna Purvis, who helped organise the initiative. “The use of dogs is increasingly vital to protect and sustain these species so they exist in high enough numbers to recover.”
Ms Purvis’ partner, Darryll Pleasants, has helped train Ol Pejeta’s 13-strong dog team, which are trained to detect weapons and ivory and to ambush poachers by wrestling them to the ground. They run a dog training academy, White Paw Professional Dog Training, in Norwich.
Among those from the Downton cast who have donated doodles are Hugh Bonnerville, Jim Carter, Michelle Dockerty, Brendan Coyle, Pnelope Wilton and Phylis Logan. Conservationist Chris Packham also provided a drawing.
The auction will feature artwork from artists including Gary Hodges and David Shepherd as well as sculptor Hamish Mackie. Other lots include a signed copy of a Breaking Bad script, safari holidays, a flight with Virgin Balloons and a chance to name one of the rhinos that lives in the conservancy.
The money raised will be used to build new kennels and to buy new Dutch-Malinois Shepard puppies for training at Ol Pejeta.
The Independent’s Christmas appeal raised more than £500,000 to combat the poaching crisis in East Africa. The money financed new teams of wildlife rangers and to run community education projects, as well as helping to establish a new 65,000-acre wildlife conservancy in central Kenya.
Those wishing to join the Ol Pejeta Charity Auction can do by going to www.charityauctionorganizer.com.
tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods
tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas
comedy Erm...he seems to be back
tvReview: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa
tv Gymnast Louis Smith triumphed in the Christmas special
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
- 2 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 3 Andy Murray takes to Twitter to show off his Christmas jumper
- 4 Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
- 5 Top 10 travel destinations for 2015: From Haiti and Alaska to Namibia and Iceland
Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014, review: Love is everywhere, actually
The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
The Interview finally gets US release after Sony hack and terror threats – but reviews of North Korea satire are mixed
Madonna Rebel Heart: Pharrell Williams collaboration and 13 more songs leaked
Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'