In celebration of the release of The Lion King next month, The Walt Disney company has announced The Lion King: Protect the Pride initiative to protect the endangered lion population across Africa with the help of the film’s stars.
Since the film’s original release 25 years ago, over half of Africa’s lions have disappeared from the wild seeing its population dropping from around 40,000 to only 20,000. The decline is largely due to poaching, destruction of habitat and a variety of other threats. So far Disney has donated over $1.5 million USD to The Lion Recovery Fund and hopes to bring that donation up to $3 million USD this year with the help of fans.
As part of the campaign, Disney will be releasing special, limited-edition merchandise including a pair of colorful Simba and Nala plushes. $5 USD from each purchase will go towards the Wildlife Conservation Network.
On the project Elissa Margolis, senior vice president, Enterprise Social Responsibility for The Walt Disney Company stated:
“Disney is committed to supporting lion conservation efforts and we believe The Lion King is the perfect story to remind us of the role each of us has in ensuring a world where these majestic animals are treasured and protected. Conservation has always been a core value of The Walt Disney Company and that commitment is apparent in everything from our films to our theme parks and is why we created the Disney Conservation Fund (DCF). Through the stories we tell and the experiences we create, we have the power to reach people around the world and inspire them to take action with us.”
To make a donation or to find out more, head over to The Lion King: Protect the Pride website.
The Lion King will release in theaters on July 19 2019. The official soundtrack will also land that day featuring Beyoncé, Childish Gambino, Seth Rogen, Pharrell and many more.