Support for Art for Animals, part of our Stop The Illegal Wildlife Trade campaign, was boosted this week with backing from Lewis Hamilton.
The Formula One champion told his 21 million followers on Instagram “It’s so important that we fight to protect our planet’s amazing wildlife. The illegal wildlife trade damages our environment and threatens endangered species. That’s why I’m supporting Art for Animals.”
Other stars who have supported Art for Animals so far include singer Rita Ora, former Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts, comedian Jack Whitehall and presenter Pips Taylor.
Hamilton shared an image of an elephant which was created to raise funds for The Independent’s campaign by globally renowned photographer David Yarrow. The print is available to buy here until 9 December with all profits going to our campaign charity partner, Space for Giants, who works to help to empower frontline law enforcers in stopping wildlife criminals and protect animals at risk.
Hamilton added “I’ve chosen this beautiful image and am buying one,” before encouraging his followers to buy one too to “support this incredible cause.”
This is the first time Hamilton has spoken out about stopping the illegal wildlife trade. One in four elephants that were alive in 2007 have since been killed, most slaughtered for their ivory by criminals involved in the global trade of wildlife.
As well as the elephant image by Yarrow, a striking photograph of a leopard approaching water taken by photographer and filmmaker Adrian Steirn is also on sale to support the campaign.
Prints of both images, which are signed and numbered on the reverse, have been released on a never-to-be-repeated limited run, which ends on 9 December.
The Independent’s Stop The Illegal Wildlife Trade campaign was launched in early 2020 to help prevent future pandemics by protecting our planet and stopping the illegal wildlife trade. Our corporate sponsors Chantecaille and Smiling Rocks have helped raise awareness of this urgent cause.
Yarrow, whose wildlife images have appeared in every notable magazine worldwide, tells The Independent “there has never been a more critical time to protect wildlife, but the truth is there is never an uncritical time.
“Humankind’s legacy is that we have presided over the most unprecedented diminishment of our planet’s wildlife. That legacy has got to change.
“The only way to do that is by involving governments and working on the ground to protect endangered animals, both of which Space for Giants does.”
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Steirn took the photo of the adult male leopard at Singita National Park in South Africa. Luke Bailes, the founder of Singita, said "Our 100-year purpose is to preserve and protect large areas of African wilderness for future generations. It follows that conserving the continent’s precious biodiversity is our primary reason for being and is an area in which we invest significant resources.
"However, we recognise that wilderness and wildlife will not exist for long unless the people living near them derive benefits from their existence. We support the wellbeing of our neighbouring communities directly through local employment, and indirectly through our Community Partnerships Programme, where we invest enterprise development. Our conservation model incorporates the three pillars of biodiversity, community and sustainability."
Both prints are available to buy at Heni Editions, priced at £500 each or £900 for both, with all profits going to Space for Giants.
Donate to help Stop the Illegal Wildlife Trade HERE