The original concept of the “Big Five”, based on the top five animals to shoot and kill in the African savanna, is being rightfully replaced with a sustainable and cruelty-free model establishing respect for the worlds’ ecosystems and biodiversity. In its’ stead, the project “New Big 5” will create an updated list of top five animals – to photograph.
The project, held by photographer and journalist Graeme Green, is asking for people all around the world to vote for their favourite animals worldwide (not just in Africa). The results will form a new bucket list for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers. Dr Jane Goodall, the world-famous primatologist and activist, is keen on this project, saying that “the animals chosen will reflect the participants’ characters as much as the qualities of the animal themselves. Any project which brings attention to animals, so many of whom are threatened or endangered, is truly important”.
Although not directly related to COVID-19 outbreak, Green emphasises that wildlife is currently very present in the public’s mind at the moment. Besides the fact that worldwide quarantine has caused a withdrawal effect in seeing, photographic and interacting with animals, he notes that: “The spread of zoonotic diseases from animals has been something scientists have been warning about for more than ten years, warnings which went unheeded, and now we’re all suffering as a result. So people are thinking a lot about wildlife issues right now.”
The rooted cause of the “New Big 5” is quite serious, according to a statement from the project organisers, because “the next ten years are critical. More than a million species are currently at risk of extinction, from icons to ‘unsung heroes’ and little-known cats, frogs, birds, lizards and other species, each too valuable to lose.” We’ve been increasingly aware of illegal poaching and trophy hunting, and we all know that this practice is the one that should become extinct. Which is why the promotion of wildlife photography through a human love for animals is a step forward in that direction.