APN News

  • Wednesday, January, 2019| Today's Market | Current Time: 04:23:00
  • With the countdown on until the Trek for Big Cats team start their unique challenge to conquer both Everest Base Camp and Kilimanjaro in November, Gareth James Legg, Tracey Bruton and Timothy Jansen Van Vuuren are proud to unveil their custom-built lion mascot.

    The lion, which is yet to be named, is the first of the mascots to be finalised, and will be worn by the project’s founder, Gareth James Legg during Trek for Big Cats’ epic journey.

    Trek for Big Cats is the brainchild of South African-born Gareth. After spending many years as a safari guide, his passion for the big cats and their environments led him to this next chapter in his conservation journey. Concerned by declining big cat populations due to hunting and habitat loss, Gareth was inspired to take action, and raise money for UK-based international wildlife charity Born Free.

    Gareth, who now lives in Edinburgh, says: “It was only when I put the lion mascot on for the first time that the reality and enormity of this special expedition really sank in. I am even more determined now with the help of the mascots and my incredible team members Tracey Bruton and Tim Van Vuuren to be the voice for the voiceless – our endangered and iconic big cats and their environments.

    “Most of my training has been in the hills and braids of Morningside so look out for the big male lion mascot. Don’t be scared to come and say hi and help pledge your paw print to the conservation of big cats and their wild habitats.”

    The mascots have been custom-built in the UK by Frenzy Creative, and designed to be as life-like as possible. The lion will shortly be joined by a leopard, which will be worn by environmentalist and Field Guide Tracey and a tiger, worn by newly-announced team member, film maker and ranger, Timothy.

    The expedition will take place throughout November, beginning in Nepal with the 17,600ft trek to the base camp of Mount Everest, an area which is home to a variety of big cat species such as the magnificent snow leopard. The team will then head to Tanzania, home to iconic African species such as the lion and the leopard, where they will attempt to reach the 19,340ft summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. The team will visit primary schools in the Khumbu valley en route to Everest Base Camp, and also in Tanzania, to run educational activities with the children on the topic of wildlife conservation.