Marble rhino falls victim to an economy under duress – will stay in Windhoek until 28 November
The Pellini marble rhino on which the big game hunters pinned their hopes to raise the bulk of the intended funds for rhino protection, failed to sell at last week’s fundraiser. This put the Hunters United Against Poaching Trust in a predicament as the reserve price of over N$800,000 would have constituted roughly half of the target innings.
Nevertheless, despite the stylised statue not finding a new owner, and despite many of the other items on auction at the gala dinner also not sold, the trust still managed to raise a very respectable N$866,000.
Professional auctioneer Alex McDonald from NamAgri, vocally supported by the master of ceremonies, Josey Nghipandua could just not incite the level of support needed to make the statue bolt to its new lodgings. Instead it opted to remain in the custody of the big game hunters.
“This auction was also a first for Namibia with the online bidding platform running concurrently with the live auction. This has never been done before in Namibia” stated the trust when announcing this week that the online auction will continue until a suitable bid has come forth.
“The auction will continue” the trust said on Monday adding that all the items not sold at the gala dinner will remain on the online bidding platform. The lots will only be closed on 28 November 2017 at the Annual General Meeting of the Namibian Professional Hunting Association.
“Therefore we ask that everyone spreads the word. We want to reach the furthest corners of the earth, we want to continue marketing Namibia and trust that we will find a suitable home for our beautifully sculpted marble rhino” stated the trust.
The gala dinner saw contributions from Falko Schwarz, the chairman of the Hunters United Against Poaching Trust, from Danene van der Westhuyzen, the president of the hunting assocation, and from Hon Pohamba Shifeta, the Minister of Environment and Tourism.
In the meantime, the rhino statue will be relocated to a prominent spot in Windhoek where it will stay until the hunters association AGM at the end of November.