Raising awareness of endangered animals through art

Raising awareness of endangered animals through art

Art can be an extraordinary way to connect with people across cultural and bounds. It is one medium that transcends language and can be appreciated by every human on the planet, regardless of what country they live in. Paintings and sculptures have always methods to deliver a message, reveal something culturally significant or to create something that can be admired and appreciated by all. 

There are many artists out there that use their talent and preferred medium to convey a message. Many African artists use sculpture and painting to raise awareness of political plights, the needs of their people or the threats facing nature. Art is the only medium that can be effective in delivering these messages to the rest of the world in a way that can be understood and felt by all observers.

There are many animals indigenous to Africa that face threats. These endangered creatures may face extinction through poaching, pollution, loss of habitat or natural phenomena. Sculptures can be an effective way to raise awareness of these threatened animals and encourage people to act before it is too late. By appreciating sculptures of endangered species, we could also be gazing upon the real animal while it thrives in its natural environment. If we do not take action, sculptures may soon be the only representation of certain species.

Endangered animal sculptures 

Molo Wethu has many artworks available on the online store. Most of these pieces are sculptures of African animals made from metals and recycled materials. These proudly South African creations are charismatic and serve as talking points for viewers. They can be used to start conversations about Africa’s fauna and certain endangered species on the continent.

A number of the sculptures available on our store take inspiration from endangered or near-extinct African animals. These works of art are painstakingly hand-crafted and can be used to raise awareness of the problems faced by these creatures. Buyers from around the world can have their own representations of these unique animals, but also use their sculptures to educate friends, family and visitors who see the sculptures.

The first sculpture is the smallest of the African animals –  the African dung beetle is a hard-working bug that works as nature’s own clean-up crew. Dung beetles feed on animal faeces and are able to consume up to 250 times their own mass in manure in one day. Many dung beetles roll the animal manure into round balls and push it back to their burrows. The flightless dung beetle (Circellium bacchus) is an endangered species that is native to South Africa.

Next is the largest African mammal – a true gentle giant that faces threats from poachers looking for ivory. The African elephant is the largest living land-based animal with bulls reaching a shoulder height of up to four metres. Both sexes have tusks, which are sought-after by poachers. While many populations of elephants are increasing slowly, thanks to current conservation efforts, the African elephant is still listed as a vulnerable species in South Africa. Loss of habitat is also a major threat to these silent giants.

The rarest of the endangered animal sculptures on our website is the pangolin. These scaly anteaters are possibly the most trafficked animals in the world, placing them under immense strain. In certain parts of Africa, the pangolin is listed as critically endangered whilst in other regions, it is listed as near extinct. These shy animals can reach up to one metre in length and are rarely seen during the day.

Another extremely threatened species of African mammal is the rhinoceros. These giant mammals are also heavily poached for their horns. There are two species of rhino in Africa, the white rhino and the black rhino. Rhinos once roamed many places throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa, but today, fewer than 30 000 rhinos remain. In Africa, the southern white rhino faces extinction, although conservation efforts have helped to bring captive populations back from the brink of total disappearance. The only two remaining northern white rhinos are kept under 24-hour guard in Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.

Lastly, the tallest mammals in Africa – the giraffe is a unique and unmistakable animal that faces various threats. The giraffe population in Africa has declined by 30% since the 1980s. While some subspecies of giraffe are thriving in the wild, other subspecies are still listed as endangered or critically endangered. Seven subspecies of giraffe have already become extinct due to loss of habitat in various regions of Africa.

These sculptures are charismatic representations of the weird and wonderful wildlife that one can find in Africa. They may appeal to animal lovers, African art collectors or African expats living abroad. The sculptures of endangered species will certainly serve as a talking point for observers, and can bring a touch of the African spirit into your home or office space. Molo Wethu is able to deliver purchases worldwide.


To learn more about Molo Wethu and our bespoke African artworks, please do not hesitate to contact us. Molo Wethu sources, collects and distributes a variety of unique African paintings and sculptures. Visit our online store to purchase these artworks for your home or office – they are ideal for art collectors, travellers and gift-givers.

Molo Wethu supports the needs of differently-abled humans. A portion of the sales from selected products will be donated to organisations that help children with Autism and Asperger’s syndrome in South Africa. This also helps to raise awareness of mental health issues in Africa. 

We are able to deliver artworks around the world. To stay up-to-date with the latest news and Molo Wethu product launches, follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Take a look at our blog for more informative articles on African art, empowering artists and mental health.


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