TO mark World Lion Day, and honour the memory of Cecil the lion, international wildlife artist Pip McGarry is donating a never before seen painting to an animal conservation charity.
The work of art depicts a lion roaming through the African bush and bears an uncanny resemblance to the photograph of Cecil used by the BBC in the aftermath of the lion’s tragic death.
Originally untitled, McGarry has now named the piece ‘Cecil’ after the recent events in Zimbabwe and given it to UK-based charity LionAid.
The charity carries out research into lion conservation and works to save lions across the globe to try and end the decline of wild lion populations.
Mr McGarry said: “Like the rest of the world, I was shocked and saddened by the news of Cecil’s senseless death.
“As someone who has spent many years in Africa, capturing its majestic wildlife on canvas, I felt compelled to help this worthy charity.
“Donating one of my paintings for auction is just a small way I can contribute.
“I hope ‘Cecil’ will go to a good home and raise lots of money to help Lion Aid continue their vital work in protecting these incredible animals.”
The painting will be displayed alongside other works of art by children, adults and celebrities, including a limited edition signed print of Ricky Gervais’s lion portrait, at ‘An Evening for Lions’.
Due to be held at St. Pancras Church, London, on August 22 the event will see the painting being auctioned off to raise much-needed funds.
Trustee and director at LionAid, Christine Macsween, said: “Wildlife artists have always seen and recognised the true beauty and wonder of wildlife in the wild.
“Pip McGarry has long been a leading wildlife artist who, through his work, has shown his keen understanding and appreciation of nature’s wonders.
“How much more valuable is it to wildlife conservation to mount a work of art by Pip than to mount a glassy-eyed hunting trophy?”
McGarry’s paintings of African wildlife are sold all over the world and can command sales in the region of £50,000+.
LionAid is inviting closed bids for ‘Cecil’ via email to [email protected], or by calling 01304 449491, and the picture can be viewed at The Frame Gallery in Odiham, Hampshire, in the run up to the auction.