In a bid to further conservation efforts, Wildlife SOS has partnered with Mumbai-based pop-culture merchandise brand—‘The Souled Store’ to launch an exclusive range of merchandise called ‘Save Their Souls’. This collaboration is an initiative towards raising awareness about seven endangered wildlife species found in India.
The Souled Store has designed a collection of seven t-shirts depicting the Bengal tiger, the Indian rhinoceros, the Asian elephant, the Ganges river dolphin, the Himalayan Brown Bear, the Indian star tortoise and the Gharial. Each of the t-shirts aims to draw attention to that particular species and the threats they face. The Bengal Tiger, India’s national animal and an endangered species, currently has only 3000 odd specimens in the country, while the Indian Rhinoceros has a little over 3,500 individuals alive. Both the tiger and the Indian Rhinoceros are a successful conservation story for India as the species made a comeback from the brink of extinction, however, they continue to remain threatened by a myriad of dangers.
Vulnerable species like the Asian Elephants have less than 30,000 individuals in the wild, while the Ganges river dolphin has 2000 specimens and the Himalayan Brown Bear only a 1000 individuals. The Indian Star Tortoise is one of the most heavily trafficked animals in the world while the Gharial, the last of the species depicted in the collection, has only 200 individuals thriving in the wild! Some of the most common threats for these species are habitat loss, due to unchecked development and urbanisation, a loss of prey base which is the inevitable result of habitat loss and poaching & illegal wildlife trafficking that continue to endanger most of these animals.
‘Save Their Souls’ hopes to draw the attention of people across the spectrum and encourage their involvement. The collection aims to assimilate conservation awareness into the niche of fashion. The partnership also hopes to advocate the urgency of continuing conservation efforts regarding India’s wildlife, with the seven aforementioned species spearheading the effort. India boasts of a wide variety of flora and fauna, many of whom are facing similar threats to their existence. The collection will be showcased both on the brand’s outlets and the Wildlife SOS website, and the proceeds from the purchase of these items will go for the upkeep of animals under the care of Wildlife SOS. The initiative is slated for launch on the 6th of September.