Saving Saigas: Projects Around the World

Saiga Mural Painting Project

The Saiga Mural Painting Project is led by artist Rory McCann. Rory has the ambition to instill a love for nature and creativity in people. Many of his mural works are carried out in partnership with young people and schools.


In the spring of 2014, the Saiga Conservation Alliance collaborated with renowned British wildlife artist Rory McCann to work with local children in a town in rural Uzbekistan and create a striking mural in the center of town. The idea for the mural was developed by the children and centers around the theme “Our Wildlife, Our Home.” The feature point of the mural is a stunning saiga antelope. The children worked with Rory to paint the many animals that live in the natural areas around them. This mural was funded by Disney Coins for Change.


In 2015, McCann continued the saiga mural project with a new project, this time in the village of Karasu, Kazakhstan. It is so remote that it involves an overnight train and then 12 hours by van to reach from Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan. The mural was created over eight days of work, and features 25 steppe animals represented. These include the white-headed duck, greater flamingo, little bustard, pallid harrier, steppe eagle, red fox, corsac fox, wild boar, and of course the saiga antelope.


In 2016, Rory went to Kalmykia, Russia, and inspired the next generation of young conservationists with another amazing mural. Thanks go to Wildlife Conservation Network and WWF Russia for making this possible.

More information can be found about Rory McCann by visiting his website.

Rory McCann and Olga Esipov leading 37 school students in the painting of an amazing mural in their school. The mural was painted to raise awareness for Saiga Antelope conservation in Uzbekistan. It was funded by Disney Coins for Change.

Videos in English and Russian of the mural project in Kalmykia, Russia, in 2016:


News: Saiga Mural

Latest SCA educational mural comes to Kalmykia

Russian Mural 2016 – written by Rory McCann For the past 4 years, I have worked as a mural artist, with a focus on using my art to inspire people to have a greater interest in wildlife. Without a doubt, the most exciting and rewarding work I have done to date has been...

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An Artist Steppe-ing Out, by Rory McCann

As I am driven through Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan, I see a city being rapidly developed. The Spring is late to arrive and the temperature is -9. There is snow piled everywhere and the river that passes through Astana is frozen solid, with people sat upon...

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Drawn Together – The People and Wildlife of Uzbekistan

This spring, a completely new approach to Saiga conservation has been trialled in Uzbekistan. British wildlife artist Rory McCann travelled to Karakalpakstan, in Uzbekistan, to paint a mural depicting the wildlife of the steppe habitat. Uzbek student Olga Esipova...

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