Project Cecil began in an elementary school classroom...
Lorna’s students were outraged when they learned that Cecil, the majestic lion Oxford University had been researching for over a decade, had been illegally lured from his protected reservation in Hwange, Zimbabwe and murdered by an American trophy hunter. Seeking to change the world they were growing into, the kids started an awareness campaign called Project Cecil: Save 1 for Me. The idea was, if each person saves just one animal, together, we can save them all.
That momentum led to petitions and letters to the president who, around that time, put a ban on the importation of trophies. Encouraged that their voices were being heard, the class began fundraising to aid other animals in need.
In 2017, Project Cecil Rocks was launched to raise global awareness. Brent Stapelkamp, the last photographer to fit Cecil with a GPS collar, kicked off the effort by leaving a painted rock at the lion’s watering hole in Hwange. Since then, the kids’ rocks have been found on 6 of 7 continents and continue to raise awareness for those without a voice—those abused, tortured, and slaughtered.
A year later, Project Cecil became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Project Cecil Rescue Ranch, located on 5 beautiful acres in Utica, Ohio, has become a safe haven for animals. The team pulls dogs from kill shelters and endeavors to find them new, loving homes. They also rescue farm animals and invite families out to learn about compassion firsthand.
In the long run, maybe that first class of kids had the right idea. Maybe we can save these animals, one at a time…
If each person saves just one animal, together, we can save them all.