Killer Snares turned into artful message

I’ve been meaning to write this post for some time to recognize the amazing work being done by Dipesh Pabari at the Kenya Coast.

When he told me he was turning snares set to kill wildlife into art I didn’t imagine it would look quite like this.

Then he embarked on turning pollution in the ocean into another work of art. This whale shark is the outcome of his labor of love, it’s beautiful and meaningful. Hopefully we all get the message ‘stop killing wildlife and stop polluting the natural environment”. The project is getting a quite some attention.

Last summer as part of their Ocean Project, Camp International, a volunteering organisation running trips to Africa and Asia, coordinated 7 beach cleanups involving gap year students from the UK to cleanup the Kenyan coastline. Over 200 bags of litter were collected which included over 7000 flip-flops. The Camp Kenya School Team Expedition then worked with local artists to create a life size whale shark made out entirely of the recycled flip-flops picked up from the beach.

10 thoughts on “Killer Snares turned into artful message”

  1. Wonderful that the beaches were cleaned up… I can’t help wondering, however, if some of the 7000 flip flops could have gone to people with no footwear…?

  2. Char: do check out uniqueeco. They are making all sorts of objects from recycled flipflops and Youth For Conservation have been supporting the same idea on recylced snares. I would love to be able to auction the objects and use the money towards product design, etc with the local communities.

    Jodie: the flipflops we picked were completely eaten away by the ocean (straps missing, etc). Unusable. I had set up a similar project further south and they recylce them into beads and supply to UniqueEco. The remaining stuff is sold back to the factories.

  3. You may also want to look at marine debris art from another Kenyan artist, Andrew McNaughton. Andrew living on the coast of Kenya in Watamu recently made a Lion out of flip-flops collected off the beach for a Born Free Foundation event designed to raise awareness about predator conservation in Kenya. Information about this and a gallery of photos of Andrew’s recycled art can be seen at

  4. Hi Wayne, Thank you so much for your comment. I actually saw Andrews’ lion in Nairobi a nd his exhibition which is at the RaMoMa Gallery in Parklands Nairobi. He’s very talented indeed. Thanks for your comment and no sur eif it’s my comp but the link you gave is dead! Can you check and resend please? cheers Paula

  5. Hi :D! I’m doing a 4000 word essay on Art for Conservation in Kenya 🙂
    I would love to source this article but I can’t seem to find the author?
    It would be great help, and interesting to know 🙂

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