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Local Artist Fights African Poachers

A local painter/sculptor of wildlife is appealing for funds to help derail the African ‘meat train’.

The Young Prince - Steve Winterburn


That is the name given to the poaching trade across the Somalia border where animals are being butchered at will and the meat transported across the unpatrolled boundary.

Steve Winterburn, a Coventry born and bred artist, specialising in painting and sculpting big cats, is now helping ‘Care for the Wild’ to raise 100,000 for a border post to be built and staffed by soldiers from the Kenya Wildlife Services.

"It’s appalling," says Steve. "The poachers are killing anything with meat on it and they are not too fussy about the pain and injury they might cause to the animals.

"They are hunting for elephant and rhino tusks again and are killing indiscriminately among the endangered species. This is not people killing an animal so that their family has food on the table.

"This is poaching on a large scale. It is big business and that is why the locals call it the meat train.

"I have made two trips to that particular spot and I am doing my best to raise the necessary money for a border post. We have reached 50,000 but we need double that."

Steve says he feels compelled to help because as an artist and sculptor of wild animals he is making his own living out of them.

"I want to give something back," he says simply.

Steve was educated at Finham Park School, Coventry where his talent was unnoticed.

"I did labouring jobs or worked in shops, and it was only about three years ago that I saw a tee shirt with a tiger emblazoned on it and caught the bug.

"I began drawing and painting the big cats but then graduated to sculpture. My work is now selling in America, Japan, Russia, Europe and India. My latest project is a life size sculpture of a Sumatran tiger and this will be used to help raise money for the Somalia project."

Steve can be contacted on 01203 721290.

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CWN / Arts / Artists / Steve Winterburn / 12 Oct 99

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