The conservation charity Tusk, of which Land Rover is a proud global sponsor to, has launched the Tusk Lion Trail, coordinating 45 life-sized lion sculptures onto the streets of iconic cities - with each sculpture created by an internationally recognised celebrity.
New Zealand has been invited to show its support for the global campaign, with Richie McCaw and Dick Frizzell conceptualizing a striking black lion, complete with silver fern.
The lion was installed on the forecourt of Parliament on World Lion Day – Tuesday 10 August, where it will remain for the next six weeks. New Zealand is the first country in the world to unveil its art piece, kicking off a series of activity from international cities.
The population of African lions is estimated to have declined by as much as 50% over the last 25 years. There are now fewer wild lions left in the world than rhinos. Each sculpture will highlight the magnificence of lions, threats to their existence and the people and solutions working for their survival - raising awareness for conservation efforts across the world.
Richie McCaw commented: It’s a true honour to be part of this global campaign as an ISPS Handa Ambassador and ensure that New Zealand is represented on the world stage. The conservation and environmental challenges we’re facing are daunting – and the work Tusk does to protect lion habitat and mitigate human-lion conflict is admirable. I’d encourage anyone passionate about wildlife to pop down to see the sculpture at parliament, and better yet, register to bid at the global auction to own this incredible art piece from Dick Frizzell.
Artist Dick Frizzell agreed: “We really wanted New Zealand’s lion to pop on the world stage with our proud jet-black colouring and silver fern - and because we’re dealing with a British charity, I guess this is technically the closest you’ll see to a British & Irish Lion in the colours of Aotearoa.”
Charlie Mayhew MBE, chief executive of Tusk, added: “New Zealand has an incredible reputation on the world stage when it comes to conservation, environmentalism and sustainability. We’re pleased to launch our very first fundraising efforts in New Zealand and believe everyday Kiwis will get behind our global rally-cry to save the African Lion.”
Following the worldwide exhibition of these one-of-a-kind art pieces, New Zealand’s lion will be auctioned off by leading global auction house Bonhams in London on November 9th.
For the global Land Rover brand, it was up to Chief Creative Officer, Gerry McGovern to conceptualise a Land Rover lion, which will sit proudly on display in London until it too is auctioned off to support the charity.
Land Rover supports Tusk’s desire to achieve sustainable conservation and has worked with the organisation for over ten years, providing vehicles and funding to enable Tusk to reach remote territories and carry out their vital work in the field, including lion conservation projects in Kenya.