"Rhinos are one of the most impressive and massive land mammals, and they do not usually fool around.If they were to play, their only games would be power plays. A charging bull elephant is often bluffing-- not so the rhino. A rhino will make a pretty serious mess out of any vehicle, which has not helpedtheir fight for survival. Rhinos can handle any natural threat but not modern man and his high-power bullets.
Rhinos were never hunted by native African tribes, and even the early white trophy hunters were
not a serious threat. In 1970 there were about 20,000 black rhinos in Kenya; today there are
fewer than 500. This devastation has been caused by the senseless, frivolous beliefs of people
in countries thousands of miles away from the black rhino's domain: in the Orient, rhinoceros horn
(consumed in powdered form) is believed to be an aphrodisiac; in the last 15 years, the price of a
kilo of rhino horn has risen from $35 to $500. In North Yemen, to be considered a virile young
man requires owning a dagger with a handle made of rhinoceros horn; such a dagger now
costs more than $15,000.
To keep this magnificent beast from extinction, we need a global power play to abolish rhino
poaching and the money that supports it. I painted Power Play to raise funds to abolish illegal
rhino horn trade and to save this 70-million-year-old species from extinction."
1987 - acrylic - 36” x 48” - Powerplay Rhinoceras - Robert Bateman