Say hello to the Tusk Lion Trail.
If we told you a lion was on the loose in Bristol, the first thing you’d probably do is frantically glance around to make sure the coast is clear. Never fret, this colourful lion that is out and about at Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol won’t be able to do any damage.
The Tusk Lion Trail has just popped up in Bristol- as well as Edinburgh, London and other cities worldwide- in support of African conservation. It follows on from the successful Rhino Tusk Trail worldwide in 2018. It is thought that the African lion population has dropped by 50% in the last 25 years, with few lions than rhinos in the wild.
These installations aim to celebrate the magnificence of the wild creatures, with 47 vibrant sculptures up worldwide. Bristol currently boasts a life-size lion sculpture painted by Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood and in London’s West End there are a pride of lions with 27 of these models, with designs coming from world-renowned names. These include fine art photographer, David Yarrow; artists Jake Chapman, Gavin Turk and David Mach; and actors Mathew Horne, Noel Fielding and John Cleese.
Stephen Lansdown CBE, owner of Bristol Sport, said: “We are proud to be part of the Tusk Lion Trail 2021 and it’s an honour for Ashton Gate Stadium to play its part in the global campaign. Each sculpture highlights the magnificence of lions and educates about the threats to their existence – raising awareness for conservation efforts across the world.
“The population of African lions has declined by as much as 50% in the last 25 years, so the risk to Africa’s unique natural heritage remains more urgent than ever. We hope visitors across the West Country come to Ashton Gate to enjoy our iconic lion sculpture and support the work of Tusk.”
Each sculpture has been sponsored by a Tusk partner or supporter, and will sit outside iconic landmarks across the globe. Following the display, the lions will be auctioned to raise funds in support of Tusk’s conservation mission. The previous Rhino Tusk Trial raised over £750,000. Find more information on the trail at the Tusk website.