An advert featuring a giant panda bear with a bleeding, hacked-off nose has been produced by a local advertising agency as part of an international campaign to curb the slaughter of Africa’s rhinos.
Produced by Durban agency Roots Branding, the advert was published in Wildside magazine this week along with several articles on the rhino poaching crisis in SA.
It calls for an end to the use of rhino horn in traditional Chinese medicine and questions what would happen to China’s dwindling population of panda bears if Africans held the belief that bear noses contained medicinal properties.
According to Roots designer Torsten Fehsenfeld, the ad was not intended as a malicious “tit-for-tat” response, but to raise public awareness by contrasting the plight of two endangered wildlife species which served as icons or national symbols on different continents.
The ad has also been translated into Mandarin in the hope that South Africans will pass it on to friends and acquaintances in China and other parts of the Far East where rhino horn is crushed into powder form as a traditional remedy for fevers, rheumatism and other ailments.