As few as 3,200 tigers survive in the wild today. That’s why wild tigers need all the friends they can get, and on March 3, 2011 celebrities, conservation leaders and campaigners will attend an exclusive Gala Night in London to raise funds for this critically endangered species.
Showing their support for tigers at the Gala will be stars including Joanna Lumley, Bill Oddie, Jimmy Greaves, Ronni Ancona and Alistair McGowan, Jimmy Choo, TV chef Ching-He Huang, Virginia McKenna and Will Travers, Donal MacIntyre, Liz Bonnin and Steve Backshall.
The event, at the prestigious Mandarin Oriental Hotel, is the first major fundraiser for Save Wild Tigers, a partnership comprising the Born Free Foundation, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and WildAid. The event has been created and promoted by The Clinton Partnership, which has donated all its services.
“The fact that tigers continue to become more and more endangered is an indication that the world isn’t as civilized as it thinks it is or as it should be,” said Bill Oddie. “The dire plight of the tiger is a symbol of humanity’s ignorance.”
The exclusive event will begin with a blessing by monks from London’s Buddhist Society. Other highlights include the unique dancing spectacle King of the Forest, rarely performed and specially prepared for the occasion by famed Balinese dancer/choreographer Ni Madé Pujawati and Indian dancer/choreographer Gauri Sharma Tripathi. There will also be a traditional Chinese Lion Dance and music from a Thai orchestra to complement what promises to be an extraordinary evening.
Adding a note of competitive fun – and to raise funds for the tiger protection work of the three charities – an auction with guest auctioneer Nicholas Parsons will give guests the chance to bid on lots including a chance-in-a-lifetime tiger-watching safari in India, a week’s stay at The Estates at Pangkor Laut in Malaysia, Air Asia flights to Kuala Lumpur, dinner at Michelin star restaurant Texture, a foraging day and dinner with Master Chef winner Matt Follas, a one-day cookery class at award-winning food school Thyme, dinner at world-renowned chef Daniel Boulud’s newest restaurant Bar Boulud, a tiger sculpture by Laura Lian and a week’s stay in Samara’s flagship lodge in South Africa.
Save Wild Tigers was formed in the aftermath of the St Petersburg International Tiger Forum convened by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in November last year. With funding sources under pressure, Born Free, EIA and WildAid saw the value in pooling their resources to generate funds collectively to help ensure the Forum’s words were turned into action.
The monies raised by the Tiger Gala will be used for a variety of different and complementary tiger conservation activities, captured in the Save Wild Tiger partnership’s Mission Statement:
“No one can save the world’s wild tigers … on their own!
“That’s why three international organisations have joined forces and are working together to end the tiger trade and protect wild tigers. The Born Free Foundation’s field projects engage communities to help secure vital tiger habitat and keep wildlife in the wild; EIA’s investigations protect the environment with intelligence by exposing the criminal networks that exploit the tiger trade to such deadly effect; WildAid’s innovative demand–reduction programmes target consumers so that when the buying stops the killing can too.
“From Vladimir Putin to Leonardo DiCaprio and Joanna Lumley, everyone’s talking tigers! But when money’s tight, it’s critical to make sure you support effective, credible organisations that can turn words into action. Support Save Wild Tigers and make a difference today!"
You can join the stars on March 3; tickets priced £250 are selling fast and available here.