Marc Ecko finds permanent homes for rescued rhinos
12 years ago
Marc Ecko Finds Permanent Homes for Rescued Rhinos NEW YORK, Nov. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Marc Ecko, founder of the world-famous rhino-branded apparel line, *ecko unltd., has found permanent homes for two Southern white rhinos recently rescued from an auction of animals held at Catskill Game Farm in Catskill, NY. Mr. Ecko, a staunch supporter of rhino relief, successfully won Jack at the auction for $8,500. Boom Boom, however, was won by an individual from Texas who, according the Humane Society of the United States, has ties to the "canned hunt" industry. "Canned hunts", outlawed in 20 states, are instances where exotic animals are released in a restricted area for the purpose of slaughter by trophy hunters. Mr. Ecko's team collaborated with the Coalition for Catskill Game Farm Animals and local advocates to negotiate the purchase and rescue of Boom Boom, offering the original buyer double his winning bid of $5,500. While searching for a permanent safe haven for Jack and Boom Boom, Mr. Ecko provided the resources necessary to ensure their continued stay at the Catskill Game Farm facility. After an extensive search, Mr. Ecko and his animal consultants settled on two separate locations to house the rhinos -- Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Arizona (Boom Boom) and Wildlife Safari in Oregon (Jack). Mr. Ecko donated the animals and paid the relocation costs in exchange for their lifelong sanctuary. Mr. Ecko will also provide webcams through which the rhinos can be viewed online by the thousands of children and adults who had visited the Catskill Game Farm over the years and have come to love Jack and Boom Boom. Commenting on the purchase and relocation, Mr. Ecko stated, "While the rhino has been an integral part of *ecko unltd.'s heritage since its beginning in 1993, we are still studying this majestic animal and learning about its daily struggles. Throughout the process of finding these two rhinos a home, I was alerted to the dangers -- including the practice of canned hunting -- that rhino's face, and I'm thrilled that I was able to spare these beautiful animals from such a horrific fate." The rhinos are members of the few remaining species of megafaunas left in the world. Rhino populations have declined 98% over the past 200 years. Rhinos are endangered creatures and have been protected by the CITES treaty since 1970s. However, poachers who sell their horns to make ornamental dagger handles and traditional Chinese medicine, as well as big game hunters who pay bounties in order to add them to their trophy walls, continue to diminish their numbers. *ecko unltd. is taking the lead among companies using the rhino image to market products and "giving back" to the rhino by becoming the primary corporate partner of the International Rhino Foundation (IRF). It provides major funding and public awareness -- raising assistance to the North American Save the Rhinos campaign managed by IRF to support critical on-the-ground rhino anti-poaching and habitat protection measure in Africa and Asia. San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park recognized *ecko unltd.'s commitment to the campaign by naming an orphaned Indian rhino "Ecko" after Marc Ecko in 2005. Boom Boom has settled at the Out of Africa Wildlife Park, a 104-acre preserve located in Camp Verde, AZ, which is home to more than 400 animals. The Park was created for wildlife animals to live in a setting similar to their native environment. The animals enjoy natural, spacious habitats and share unique relationships with their caregivers. The founders of the park also have developed unique and educational wild life experiences, which allow the public to share in the animals' lives. Jack now resides in Winston, OR at Wildlife Safari, which is the only drive through wildlife park in the Pacific Northwest. Jack will roam freely with other exotic animals over 600 acres of grasslands and wooded areas, much as he would in his native habitat. Wildlife Safari is also a world renowned medical and research facility, and a nationally recognized educational facility for veterinary and biological sciences. About Marc Ecko: The youngest member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America's board of directors, Marc Ecko's artistic journey began in the mid-80s in a makeshift design studio and showroom located in the garage of his parent's New Jersey home. A full-fledged member of the then emerging hip-hop scene, Marc engendered interest with the generation's new cultural icons including Spike Lee and Chuck D, who wore his t-shirts with pride. These events precipitated his founding of *ecko unltd. in 1993, at the age of 20. His unique talents, coupled with an innate marketing acumen, would quickly guarantee success. In the short period that has passed, Marc Ecko Enterprises (http://www.marceckoenterprises.com/) has grown to include 12 separate *ecko unltd. apparel and accessories lines, the contemporary Marc Ecko "Cut & Sew" collection, G-Unit Clothing Company, Zoo York, Avirex Sportswear, Complex magazine (circulation 330,000), and a recently launched video game and multi- media entertainment division. Over the years, he has also dedicated himself to a number of socially conscious initiatives, including significant work with underprivileged youth domestically and internationally, and a dedicated role in reversing the plight of the world's rhino population.
12 years ago
It's a good iniciative. We have to learn off this!