Proteas cricketer Wayne Parnell is embracing his wild side and earning his stripes with wildlife conservationists through a new advertising campaign seeking to protect tigers living in the wild.
The advertising series, where Parnell, pictured, has his face painted with orange and black tiger stripes, is part of the “Save the Tiger: Boycott Zoos” campaign sponsored by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta).
“It’s great to have Wayne speaking up for tigers,” said Jason Baxter, a spokesman for Peta AsiaPacific.
“His ad has drawn attention to the suffering of tigers that live not just in the wild, but also in zoos.”
The campaign aims to help “all tigers so that they are spared from any kind of suffering”. said Baxter.
The Worldwide Fund for Nature estimates that only 3 200 tigers are left in the wild, mostly as a result of habitat destruction.
The advert suggests that the best way to save the endangered species is to dedicate time and resources to preserving the tiger’s natural habitat. The tagline on the poster reads: “Save animals by protecting their natural homes, not imprisoning them in zoos.”
Parnell said: “We all love our freedom and own space, and that’s no different for animals. I ask people to protect animals’ natural habitat and let them be as they’re intended to be.”
According to Peta, hundreds of thousands of animals are being kept in zoos around the world.
“We should leave tigers as they are: in the wild and with their families. They – like all wild animals – are not there for our entertainment,” said Baxter. “If people want some form of entertainment, they can engage in sports like playing cricket.”
This is not the first time Parnell has served as a spokesman. Last year, he was also photographed for an advert with Peta India, encouraging people to “say no to animal circuses”.