A number of celebrities stormed social media recently to help the Zoological Society of London win £500,000 Google Global Impact Award as ‘fan favourite’

Famous faces including actor Leonardo DiCaprio, adventurer Ben Fogle and TV presenter Dermot O'Leary all backed the Zoological Society of London’s (ZSL) campaign to win a £500,000 grant from Google to help stop rhino poaching in Africa.

Twenty five celebrities lent their support to the project, which will use the grant to install a network of next-generation cameras across Tsavo National Park in Kenya to help stop gangs of armed-poachers killing thousands of rhino every year.

The influential VIPs helped ZSL spread their message by sending all-important tweets to their followers – totalling more than 20 million people. Their support helped ZSL gain the most public votes and see off tough competition to become the “fan favourite” and win the incredible grant.

This crucial funding will see cameras with automated sensors installed in poaching hotspots within months – saving hundreds of animals over the next two years. As well as instantly transmitting images of intruders the cameras can detect vehicles from vibrations and triangulate the sound of gunshots, so that park rangers can pinpoint the location of poachers and intervene immediately.

ZSL’s director of fundraising, James Wren, says: “It’s fantastic to have won this important Google grant, and we couldn’t have done it without the overwhelming support from our VIP friends and the public. These life-saving cameras will help stop the slaughter of rhinos, elephants, and more, before it’s too late.”

Other stars who joined the campaign included Edward Norton, Derren Brown, Gail Porter, Blink-182's Mark Hoppus, Bill Bailey and many more.

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