Project Cecil: Save 1 for Me: Ohio students pay tribute, raise money

Today marks the first anniversary of the death of Cecil, the famed black-maned African lion from Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. Cecil’s death at the hands of a trophy hunter from the United States caused outrage around the world, but it also prompted a range of people and entities to take steps to protect lions and other species from similar fates

Lorna Good, a teacher at Etna Road Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio, worked with her 5th grade students to create, Project Cecil, Save 1 for Me.  Her creative students produced videos bringing awareness to the status of threatened and endangered species and posted the videos on their own Project Cecil Facebook page and their website.

Their message was loud and clear.

We cannot back down from protecting the world’s natural resources, including its animals.

The endeavor also provided Good with the opportunity to educate her students on economics and project planning.

Project Cecil held a t-shirt design contest among its members and the winning artwork was used to manufacture colorful t-shirts. The t-shirts were sold to benefit wildlife conservation with the proceeds donated to the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

At the close of the 2015/2016 school year, Project Cecil’s efforts resulted in a $1,720 contribution!

IFAW is incredibly grateful and appreciative to be the recipient of their efforts and generosity.

IFAW was no stranger to the trophy hunting issue or the need for greater protections for lions in general. For years IFAW has spoken out against the philosophy some trophy hunters tout claiming trophy hunting helps with conservation, an argument IFAW has denounced with proven economic statistics to support its position. IFAW also led an effort with like-minded conservation groups petitioning the US Fish and Wildlife Services to list African Lions on the Endangered Species Act. Months after Cecil’s death, this petition came to fruition

IFAW’s President and CEO Azzedine Downes posted a reflective blog post on the gains for African lions since his loss.

While devastating, Cecil’s death also inspired young hearts and minds to do something positive to make a difference in how animals are treated in the world they live in and will inherit. We thank the students of Etna Road Elementary for their donation and their dedication to helping protect animals around the world.  Ms. Good said that the school’s students were so inspired that they planned to continue their efforts next school year as well!

--KJ

IFAW’s education programs empower young people and their communities to take positive action for animals. Visit IFAW’s Animal Action Education pages.

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