Killing me Softly is the captivating message on the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s large new billboards in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town; a reminder that petting captive carnivores is a death sentence for these animals.
Created by Artifact Advertising for the EWT, the outdoor campaign is the ideal way to reach visitors to these cities, as well as locals, who may be inclined to want to support petting programmes for wild animals.
This position represents the EWT’s view on the practice of using carnivores in touch programmes – popular tourist attractions that offer a hands-on interaction with carnivores to visitors.
Cheetahs and lions are the most commonly used carnivores in touch programmes where cubs are removed from their mothers for hand-raising and use in petting zoos. The EWT believes this is unethical and stressful for both the mother and her cubs.
Links have also been established between lion breeding facilities and the canned hunting of lions – when cubs get too old and boisterous for petting they are removed from the touch programmes and many enter into the supply chain for canned hunting.
“The EWT wanted to send a strong message, prompting tourists and locals to rethink their decision to support these programmes, but wanted to do so in a manner that was not offensive to viewers.We found a way to convey a complex, strong message using emotive images and a strong statement.”