THE GREAT Gazelle Chase is hotting-up to be one of the biggest and most unusual fundraising events of the year that, hopefully, you will never get to see!
On Saturday, November 3, conservation organisation, For the Love of Wildlife (FLOW), will be hosting a one-of-a-kind event on St Kilda Beach to raise funds to tackle the out-of-control wildlife trade that is driving some of the world’s most iconic species to extinction.
The fundraising event is being held to support Nature Needs More to raise funds for its rhino horn demand reduction campaign. For the Love of Wildlife aims to raise at least $10,000 so that a fake gazelle, performed by Married At First Sight star Matty Lockett, does not end up getting chased around the beach by a marauding pride of wildlife lovers.
The initiative is all part of the World Games for Wildlife, created by Nature Needs More. From November 5-21, people all over the world will come together for the inaugural games by doing something active like playing sport or hosting events – all to raise funds for innovative projects tackling the illegal wildlife trade.
Founding Director of FLOW, Donalea Patman is encouraging everyone to dig deep to help save not only the gazelle, but to help save animals that have been decimated by poaching and trade such as lions, elephants and rhinos, one of which is killed every 8 hours for its horn.
“It’s a tongue-in-cheek event to get more Australians thinking about our wildlife’s welfare. We’re global citizens and we have a global responsibility to protect wildlife. It doesn’t matter if the battle is in Africa or in Australia, it all needs our urgent attention,” Donalea said.
Dr Lynn Johnson, founder of Nature Needs More, also believes Australians can do more to help tackle the illegal wildlife trade. “Wildlife is now being used as a status symbol in some cultures around the world. Rhino horn, for example, is being used to conduct business deals,” Lynn said.
“There’s a terrible disconnect with the natural world at the moment. In Australia, it’s shocking to hear about people running over emus, killing hundreds of wedge-tailed eagles, and fairy penguins and getting nothing more than a slap on the wrist. At the same time, there’s a huge connection with sport and if we can raise awareness of the plight of wildlife via the sporting arena that’ll be fantastic,” Lynn added.
From a young age, Matty Lockett, who appeared on the hit TV show Married At First Site, fell in love with wildlife and believes all of wildlife should be protected. “It all came from my father, who grew up in the country and was pretty passionate against any form of animal hunting and that’s definitely rubbed-off on me,” Matty said. “I have a very short amount of time to get fit so please donate as much as you can!”
Donalea added: “If we can’t save elephants, lions and rhinos from extinction then there’s little chance of saving anything else.”
Donate today and #savethegazelle!