ZSL’s annual fundraising gala, Safari in the City, was hosted last night at ZSL London Zoo, helping to raise more than £375,000 for the international conservation charity’s projects to tackle the ever-growing threat of illegal wildlife trade.
The black-tie event was attended by the charity’s donors and supporters, including HRH Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, and featured a live auction hosted by Lord Archer.
Rickshaw tours took guests on a journey around the urban jungle of ZSL London Zoo, with Sumatran tigers Jae Jae and Melati showing off their stalking skills in the long grasses of their Indonesian-inspired home, and Asiatic lions Bhanu and Heidi snoozing on their heated rocks in the Zoo’s flagship exhibit, Land of the Lions while ZSL’s conservationists, researchers and zookeepers were on hand to share their expertise.
ZSL’s Development Director James Wren said: “Last night’s Safari in the City fundraising gala helped us to raise more than £375,000 for ZSL, helping to support 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 and clever detailing, 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 seized chessboards made from elephant’s ivory.