Trek for Big Cats will see the intrepid team conquer Everest Base Camp and Kilimanjaro whilst wearing state-of-the-art, realistic big cat mascot costumes. Adventurer, conservationist and life-long animal-lover Gareth James Legg will be joined by environmentalist and safari guide Tracey Bruton, and film maker and ranger Timothy Jansen Van Vuuren.
Gareth, Tracey and Timothy hope that their unique challenge will not only raise funds for Born Free’s vital big cat conservation work, but raise global awareness of their plight, empowering members of the public to play an active role in protecting big cats for future generations.
The project’s founder, Gareth, explains: “Trek for Big Cats is both a fundraising campaign and a movement to raise awareness of global big cat conservation. The most unique aspect of our challenge is that we will be trekking in custom-designed big cat mascot costumes, so it adds a new dimension to an already extremely challenging trek! We hope that by doing something so extreme, that the public will be inspired to make a stand to protect big cats and their natural habitats – whether that’s by making a donation, joining a global rally or march, signing a petition or taking a stand against the exploitation of big cats through the tourism industry.”
Tracey says: “The Trek for Big Cats mantra is ‘Every human being has the responsibility of nurturing and protecting their environment and to hand it over unspoilt for future generations to enjoy.’ – It’s certainly a message we are keen to promote!”
Virginia McKenna OBE wishes them luck, saying: “I am sure that the lions, if they knew, would be sending their encouragement to the team as they tackle this challenge! All of us at Born Free wish them well as they carry their inspirational dedication to protect and save the King of the jungle up to the snowy heights.”
There will also be an opportunity for further team members to sign up for the Kili trek, with up to 20 places available. Whilst it won’t be easy, it is a fantastic chance for people challenge themselves and raise money for a great cause by joining ‘the pride’.
In early August, the team were proud to unveil the state-of-the-art lion mascot. The lion, which is yet to be named, is the first of the mascots to be finalised, and will be worn by Gareth during Trek for Big Cats’ epic journey.
Trek for Big Cats are proud to announce that a name has been chosen for their incredible lion mascot!
'Samson' means 'man of the sun'. In biblical terms, Samson was given immense strength to allow him to perform superhuman feats!
We think the name is puuurfect - thank you to everyone who submitted their suggestions.