Tiny Baby Wonder Leopard
Sub-Saharan Africa, northeast Africa, Central Asia, India, and China
At 3 months of age, this little boy is finally old enough to follow his mother out on a hunt. Picking their way through the jungles of India, they search for something to eat. He stays as quiet as he can, fighting the urge to playfully launch himself at his mother's swinging tail, but after hours of searching they have found nothing. In the distance they can see a farm, and he can sense his mother's unease- it’s dangerous taking from the humans, but this time, it seems they have no choice.
Earning the title of the smallest amongst the big cats, the leopard is also one of the most adaptable, and are able to live in almost any type of habitat- from deserts to swamps. They are solitary creatures who spend their days sleeping and their night's hunting, using their spotted “rosette” coat as camouflage, easily blending in with their surrounds.
They are extremely capable climbers, and spend a lot of their time in the branches of trees. Oftentimes dragging their prey, which can weigh more than they do, up there with them to protect it from scavenging animals. They're not fussy eaters, happy to hunt whatever comes their way; from a gazelle to a cheetah cub, or even a snake.
Leopards usually give birth to at least two cubs at a time, who are small and grey, with barely visible spots. They are completely helpless at this early age, and are moved by their mother between different safe locations until they are old enough to start playing, and learning to hunt. While they are vulnerable to different predators, their biggest threat comes from other leopards. At about 3 months old, the cubs can follow their mother on hunts and by one year, they can hunt for themselves. While they will stay with their mother until around 2 years of age, the first 12 months of their lives in the most dangerous, with a mortality rate of between 41-50%.
By far, the biggest threat to leopards is habitat loss and fragmentation, with their forested homes being turned into agricultural land. In Africa alone, it has been estimated that 66% of their territory is gone due to human expansion. This in turn reduces their natural prey, forcing them to look to livestock which has deep repercussions when the farmers retaliate. They are also a target for trophy hunters and poachers, with their coats a coveted item on the illegal wildlife trade, as well as their bones.
HOW TO HELP
Based off real animals that Gillie and Marc met while travelling, the public will be able to meet individual animals.
Through public art, more people will come into contact with these sculptures, will stop and consider them, will take a photograph, and will discuss this with their friends and family. With this increased exposure, the message of love, family, and conservation will be spread much further than any piece of art in a gallery ever could. It will bring people into close contact and will help them to fall in love, and with love comes a greater urge to want to create a change and save all endangered animals.
The sculpture will be aligned with the hashtag #LoveTheLast to raise unparalleled awareness about the sculpture’s cause across the globe.
ABOUT GILLIE AND MARC
Gillie and Marc’s highly coveted public artworks can be found worldwide including in New York, London, Singapore, Shanghai, and Sydney. They are Archibald Prize finalists, won the Chianciano Biennale in Italy, took out the Allens People’s Choice Award in 2016 and 2018 and Kids’ Choice Award in the 2016 Sculpture by the Sea and received the Bayside Arts Festival People's Choice Award in 2019 in Sydney.
The husband-and-wife duo are on a mission to make art for a better tomorrow. They are best known for their beloved characters, Rabbitwoman and Dogman, who tell the autobiographical tale of two opposites coming together as best friends and soul mates.
Gillie and Marc are also passionate eco-warriors and have dedicated their lives to protecting nature.
Gillie grew up with the wildlife in Zambia and Marc studied chimpanzees in Tanzania as a young man. Over time, the artists developed a deep appreciation for all living things and a desire to preserve the magnificence of the natural world.
Through their art, Gillie and Marc aim to transform passive audiences into passionate advocates for animal conservation. Their mission is to use their work as a platform to continue spreading awareness about endangerment, which will ultimately lead to change and save species from extinction.
Their art has raised hundreds of thousands in donations for the many wildlife charities and causes they support through their project Love The Last.
Please follow @gillieandmarcart