Tuesday 22 May 2018

Taji the 'flip-flop lion' at the centre of St Patrick's Day celebrations in Kenya

Taji will be donated to Kenya Wildlife Service where it will be displayed in the Nairobi Safari Walk and will be accessible to all visitors
Taji will be donated to Kenya Wildlife Service where it will be displayed in the Nairobi Safari Walk and will be accessible to all visitors
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The city of Nairobi will take part in the annual global greening for St Patrick's Day by putting on display a life-size sculpture of a lion made of 1,204 flip-flops recovered from the ocean.

The sculpture was commissioned by the Irish Embassy in Nairobi, in partnership with Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Tourism Board and Ocean Sole, a local conservation organisation that specialises in recycling ocean waste.

With the continued decline of lion populations in Africa, their aim is to bring attention to the conservation efforts to protect the species in Kenya, while highlighting the possibilities of recycling ocean waste.

The sculpture, named Taji [Crown], was created using:

• 1,204 recycled flip-flops

• 20kg of recycled styrofoam, recycled from old shipping containers

• It took three weeks to produce

• Five senior artisans were involved in the project

• It took a total of 605 hours to complete

Taji will then be donated to Kenya Wildlife Service where it will be on display in the Nairobi Safari Walk.

The ceremony to unveil the sculpture will be officiated by the Minister for Public Works,  Kevin Boxer Moran, who is in Kenya as part of a delegation of Ministers attending St Patrick’s Day events across the globe.

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