Every year at least 120 tigers are killed for their body parts. Every day 60 elephants are killed for the ivory trade. Every five minutes at least one pangolin is killed for meat and medicines.
To target the ever-growing threat of illegal wildlife trade, last night (Wednesday 16 May), ZSL’s (Zoological Society of London) annual fundraising gala raised more than £340, 000 for projects working to protect wildlife.
The black-tie event, Safari in the City, at ZSL London Zoo was attended by the charity’s supporters including ZSL Ambassador and TV presenter Kate Humble, Development Chairman Rupert Hambro, and featured a live auction hosted by Lord Dalmeny, Chairman of Sotheby's.
Rickshaw tours whisked guests on a journey around the urban jungle of ZSL London Zoo, with Jimmy and Yoda, the Zoo’s resident gibbons swinging through tree tops singing out to guests, as well as Sumatran tigers Jae Jae and Melati showing off their stalking skills in the long grasses of their Indonesian-inspired home. ZSL’s conservationists, researchers and zookeepers were on hand to share their knowledge and expertise.
ZSL’s Fundraising Director James Wren said: “Last night’s Safari in the City fundraising gala raised more than £340,000 for ZSL, supporting our work to not only stop, but reverse the impacts of illegal wildlife trade.
“Our generous supporters have continued to pledge, and we expect this total to increase – which is a fantastic indicator of the passion and recognition of the importance of our work.
“Safari in the City celebrates the diversity of the animal kingdom, and through tours of ZSL London Zoo, talks from our passionate and expert conservationists, we use storytelling to inspire our supporters to take action and help us work for wildlife.”
Guests enjoyed a three-course dinner inside a stunning safari marquee, while each of the table’s centrepieces told a different part of the illegal wildlife trade story – from replica-diamonds showing the value of rhino horn on the black market, to sand timers that last five minutes to demonstrate the frequency in which a pangolin is snatched from the wild.