RESIDENTS and tourists are invited to come on safari in Chester next summer where they may catch a glimpse of some extremely rare species of rhino.

Up to 70 uniquely decorated fibre glass 5ft high rhinos will be placed throughout the city creating a trail set to attract up to 400,000 extra visitors.

Businesses, community groups, education establishments and individuals are invited to sponsor a rhino sculpture which will be decorated by them or their chosen artist.

Rhino Mania follows in the footsteps of Liverpool’s successful Superlambanas and Manchester’s Cow Parade.

Rita Waters, chief executive of Chester Renaissance, which is responsible for getting the local economy back on track, said “We are very excited to be staging such a large scale event in Chester.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to unite the community and to encourage education projects, highlighting climate change, environmental issues and animal extinction.

“Chester is already a popular destination city.

“We hope the event will also encourage those who live in Chester to become ‘tourists’ within their own city and enjoy and celebrate the place in which they live.”

Mrs Waters said the festival would benefit the city economically, raise awareness about the endangered black rhinos, involve a community and education programme.

Primary school children will be invited to decorate mini rhinos and there will be a chance to raise funds for Chester Zoo’s Black Rhino Field Conservation Programme through auctioning off the rhinos at the end of the festival.

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