Baby Rhino Named for Designer Marc Ecko
SAN DIEGO Designer Marc Ecko, who made a rhino logo into a fashion statement, now has a zoo rhino named in his honor. A 3-month-old Indian rhino born at the San Diego Wild Animal Park has been named "Ecko" in honor of the designer, who donated $150,000 to launch the International Rhino Foundation's project to save the species, park officials announced Thursday.
The project will work with the Wild Animal Park to move Indian rhinos to reserves in India, protecting them from poachers who hunt the species for its horn. It also will support breeding exchanges between the park and zoos in India.
Ecko founded his rhino-branded apparel line, Ecko Unltd., in 1992.
He said that as he learned about the animal over the years, "a true affinity was born."
"More than just a logo, the rhino took on a whole new meaning as we began to coexist with it. We always said that the rhino is a survivor, so when we overcame our early financial struggles it was only natural that we dedicate ourselves to giving back to the animal that provided the inspiration," Ecko said in a statement.
The rhino project aims to double the populations of the Indian, Black and Sumatran rhinos, three of the planet's most endangered species.
Only about 2,500 Indian rhinos are thought to live in the wild, nearly all of them concentrated in the Kaziranga National Park in India and in the Chitwan area of Nepal.
"Rhino species are really at risk when small populations are restricted to one or two reserves," foundation program director Tom Foose said. "With all the eggs in just one or two baskets, a single catastrophe like a natural disaster, disease epidemic or human conflict can rapidly cause extinction."
Source: Associated Press