DRINKERS at the Mines Tavern in Laxey may think they’ve downed a pint or so too many Okells when they find a seven foot airborne rhino flying above the pub.
The inflatable pachyderm is there to promote World Rhino Day on September 22 and to publicise the plight of the species which is threatened with extinction by hunters wanting the horns which are valued in oriental medicine.
‘I’m not entirely sure yet how we are going to get it up there,’ said Angie Goody who works at the pub, ‘But I’m sure we will somehow.’
The pub will be supporting World Rhino Day with a charity auction on the same day and all funds raised will go to support the cause.
The auction has a range of goods donated by various businesses around the island and beyond. Among the prizes to be won is a hamper with six boxes of fudge from the Manx Fudge Factory, a limited edition print from wildlife artist Dr Jeremy Paul and a Liverpool football club signed football.
Also on offer are stays at the Glen Helen Hotel honeymoon suite, Old Lonan Church Farm Cottages and the Kariega Game Reserve in South Africa, along with meals at the Liverpool Arms and the Isola restaurant.
Activities being auctioned include a boat trip with the Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch survey team and a formula 2 stockcar experience at Onchan raceway.
During the evening there will also be a raffle offering the chance to win a variety of prizes and tee-shirts will also be on sale.
Angie Goody, who is one of the organisers of the event, has visited the Kariega game reserve in South Africa five times as a volunteer and plans to return next year.
She said poaching was still rife and at the current rate the species could be extinct within five years. Three days before her visit an attack by poachers killed one animal outright and injured another so severely it died a painful death some weeks later.
The third animal, called Thandi, survived thanks to considerable veterinary treatment and is making a full recovery.
All proceeds from the night will go to support the game reserve’s rhino conservation programme and Angie has thanked everyone who has helped out and supported the event.
‘Ideally I would like them to buy a tag for the surviving rhino and we could say it was being protected by the people of the Isle of Man,’ she said.
Tickets for the auction, which include a buffet and live music too, cost £10 and the event kicks off at 7.30pm. It takes place on Saturday, September 22, at the Mines Tavern in Laxey.
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Weather for Isle of Man
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: East