Bidders competed for individually designed, life-size lion sculptures created by internationally acclaimed artists. The works of art were unveiled worldwide on 10 August 2021 to mark World Lion Day in cities including The Hamptons, London, Edinburgh, Bristol, Sydney, Wellington and Nairobi. In 2018, Tusk raised £750,000 with its London Rhino Trail, a similar project to raise awareness of the danger facing depleting rhino populations across Africa, threatened by a global poaching crisis.
The event was attended by a number of international artists and celebrities. All funds raised will go towards the work of Tusk and its partners in protecting species and supporting communities across Africa.
Tusk CEO Charlie Mayhew said: “I am absolutely thrilled by the result of the Tusk Lion Trail campaign. Our sincerest thanks go to the artists that gave their time freely to create these unique artworks, to our global sponsor DHL and global co-sponsor ISPS Handa for their generous support, to everyone who sponsored or purchased a lion, and to the public who took the trail around the world. These funds will go a long way towards protecting lions, their habitats and the species that share their landscapes across Africa.”
Each sculpture highlights the magnificence of lions, threats to their existence and the people and solutions working for their survival – raising awareness for conservation efforts across the African continent. Internationally recognised faces such as Rolling Stones guitarist, Ronnie Wood, wildlife photographer, David Yarrow, rugby legend Richie McCaw, author and illustrator Michael Foreman and numerous contemporary artists including Ian Davenport, Gavin Turk, Helen Downie, Nick Gentry and Hannah Shergold, all collaborated to craft their own unique artworks which went under the hammer on Tuesday 9th November 2021.
The vulnerability of African conservation has never been more prominent due to the devastating impact of COVID-19, significantly affecting the economy, wildlife and tourism industries of Africa. Donations have never been more crucial to save these iconic big cats known as the ‘King of Beasts’, central to human culture since our very own evolution.
Tusk is enormously grateful to lead global partner DHL and global co-sponsor ISPS Handa for their generous support and without whom this hugely popular sculpture trail would not have been possible. The charity would also like to acknowledge the many companies and foundations who kindly sponsored the individual lions whilst on public display around the world, as well as the artists who gave their time and talent freely to create the magnificent sculptures.