Ella Eyre, Angelababy and other global superstars give their support to New Big 5 project
British singer Ella Eyre and Chinese actor/model/singer Angelababy are the latest global celebrities to support the New Big 5 project (www.newbig5.com), an international wildlife conservation initiative raising awareness and money for wildlife causes. Others who’ve given their backing to the initiative include Chris Packham, Djimon Hounsou, Joanna Lumley, Eugenio Derbez, Ben Fogle, Carla Morrison, Levison Wood and Dr Jane Goodall.
British singer-songwriter Ella Eyre chose elephants, cheetahs, turtles, monkeys and, her favourite animal, lions for her personal ‘Big 5’. “I love lions,” says Eyre. “I’m a big cat person. I’ve always had an association with them. I always loved The Lion King. When I was ill as a kid, The Lion King was my Go To movie, and it still is. From a young age, I fantasised about being a lion, and as I’ve got older, I fantasise about seeing a lion. Lions have always been in my life.”
Chinese superstar Angelababy, who has 7.8 million Instagram followers, singled out the pangolin, whose plight as the most trafficked mammal in the world has been highlighted by their possible role in the COVID-19 crisis. It’s suspected pangolins or bats in China’s wildlife markets may have been the source of the zoonotic disease. “These mild, shy and cute animals don't pose any threat to humans in the wild,” says Angelababy. “Regrettably, meat and scales consumption, coupled with the continuous destruction of their habitats, has led to a sharp decline in their population. I hope all the killing and illegal trade can be eradicated, and pangolin populations can be restored in their natural habitat.” Her ‘Big 5’ selections also included elephants, pandas, polar bears and seals.
American musician and animal rights activist Moby highlighted coyotes from his home, Los Angeles: “They’re such incredible animals. I hear them almost every night, howling and singing and yelling in the canyons where I live, and it’s a constant reminder that I live inches away from wildlife and that technically I’m not at the top of the food chain.”
Beninese actor Djimon Hounsou, who’s starred in Gladiator, Blood Diamond, Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain Marvel, shone a spotlight on the leopard: “Leopards are such powerful, mysteriously elusive and independent mammals. Like many big cat species in Africa and across the world, leopards are currently facing serious threats to their existence, down to loss of habitat, human-wildlife conflict and also hunting for the illegal wildlife trade. I hope the world acts in time to save them.”
British explorer and TV presenter Ben Fogle picked the humble British hedgehog among his ‘Big 5’. Mexican actor, comedian and director Eugenio Derbez highlighted the continued plight of elephants, as did British adventurer Levison Wood. UK actor Joanna Lumley focused on orangutans. British naturalist Chris Packham sang the praises of the red fox. Chilean singer Carla Morrison spoke of her love for gorillas.
The New Big 5 project is an international initiative to create a New Big 5 (#NewBig5) of wildlife: the Big 5 of photography, not hunting. Shooting with a camera, not a gun.
“What a great project the New Big 5 is. I wonder what the final choices will be? There are so many incredible animals in our world. Any project that brings attention to animals, so many of whom are threatened or endangered, is truly important.”
Dr Jane Goodall (The Jane Goodall Institute)