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How to move a rhino

21 Aug 2018

Uncover the steps taken to deliver 22 rhinos to London

Never one to shy away from a challenge for a great cause, Pickfords became the official logistics partner for the Tusk Rhino Trail and successfully moved 22 rhinos to Central London.

So, how did we do it? What does it take?

Other than slick organisational skills, a whole lot of muscle and a pure love for moving, you'll need flexibility and knowledge to get a project like this underway. See the all-important steps below.

Step 1: How well do you know your rhinos?

For the past 30-40 years, poaching, habitat loss and human-wildlife conflict have had a devastating impact on Africa’s wildlife. To put this into perspective, the world is losing species 1,000-10,000 times faster than the natural extinction rate, caused almost entirely by human activity. Did you know that black rhinos are on the brink of extinction?

The Pickfords team quickly become aware of the enormity of this crisis and the cultural significance of the safe transportation of all the rhino sculptures. The crew form a bond with the rhinos and the cause.

Step 2: Protect the rhinos from danger

To protect a rhino sculpture in transit, you'll need expert knowledge of specialist materials. Here's how we tailored it for this special load:

  • First, cover the rhino with a bubble blanket. This wrap, specifically designed for protecting high value or delicate loads, offers the first barrier of protection.
  • Next, you’ll need to wrap the rhino in specially quilted covers to keep him/ her safe and cosy during transit.
  • Finally, before the rhino is ready to go, you need to create a specific cone to fit around the horn. Made of sturdy material, this ensures the most symbolic part of the rhino receives extra protection and stays intact throughout transit.               

Step 3: Introduce the rhinos to their new habitat

Foreseeing their popularity with the public, a hardworking, agile and sharp-witted moving team is needed to ensure the rhinos are moved with precision and care.

To maximise the impact of the campaign, Tusk had the rhinos fully installed by Pickfords overnight, all in their 22 separate locations in London, for the big reveal on 20 August 2018. You can see pictures of the successful installation on our Facebook page.

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More about the Tusk Rhino Trail

Tusk devotes its resources to initiating and supporting the most progressive conservation initiatives throughout Africa. Empowering local communities, Tusk supports over 60 projects in 20 countries. Donate here.

The Tusk trail was created to help give the rhino a voice in a modern city and help to raise awareness of the plight of the species ahead of world rhino day on 22 September 2018.

Pickfords, the official logistics partner and expert movers, was asked to store, handle, pack and move each rhino carefully into their position for the big reveal on 22 august 2018.

If you’re lucky enough to visit the rhinos during their stay in London, send us your pictures via Twitter, Facebook or email!

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