British model Cara Delevingne has teamed with Tag Heuer to auction off her personal timepiece from the brand in aid of the researchers studying Cecil the lion. Cecil, who was killed by American dentist Walter Palmer recently, was living in Zimbabwe and being studied by researchers at the University of Oxford’s WildCRU department—one of the largest conservation institutes in the world. Delevingne’s watch, which has yet to hit the mainstream market, fetched an impressive $28,900, which will all go towards continuing the studies on Cecil’s lion cubs in their natural environment.
“The killing of Cecil the Lion was a tragedy. Help the scientists who care about the future of wild lions in Africa and work very hard on their conservation,” wrote Delevingne on her Instagram account. The model and fashionista, who is a Tag Heuer ambassador and is also star sign Leo, is passionate about lions and their conservation and even has a lion tattoo on her finger. “This money will help maintain and expand the Hwange programme, supporting Lion conservation for the future,” said Prof David Macdonald, director of WildCRU at the university’s Department of Zoology, adding that researchers were “deeply grateful” for Delevingne’s efforts. The watch was bought by an anonymous bidder and is a signature edition Carrera edition engraved with “Cara Delevingne Edition” and stamped on the back with a lion’s head. Bidding for the piece, which is set with white diamonds, began at £1 and eventually raised $14,430. Tag Heuer, for their part, matched the winning bid to raise a combined total of $28,900.
“Little did we think that this morning we would be opening our emails to discover that Cara was auctioning her watch (with a lion inscribed on its face) to raise money for WildCRU’s research,” wrote Macdonald on the WildCRU website, after first learning about the auction. “It is also a wonderful educational opportunity to think that Cara’s gift will introduce our work to the millions of people who follow her globally, and who we hope will come to appreciate the importance of wildlife and the environment to their futures.” The money raised is enough to purchase six tracking collars or fund the Hwange Lion Programme’s anti-poaching patrol for about six months