Forget the black cat costume cliché, this year trick-or-treaters sporting lynx masks or leopard spots are prowling for treats with a purpose.
National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative is encouraging kids to get involved in conservation this Halloween. Trick-or-treaters are collecting money to support conservation, education and public awareness projects, and economic incentive efforts that protect declining big cats (lions and tigers and leopards, oh my!) the world over.
The project’s website has posted some fantastic big cat costume ideas (easily adaptable for Halloween partiers of all ages) as well as a Cat-O-Lantern craft, all great ways to get people talking about protecting our planet’s impressive felines.
These animals need more help now than ever before. There are now more tigers in captivity than in the wild, lions have declined by more than 90% in the last fifty years, and cheetahs have disappeared from more than 75% of their home range.
Want to help out? Don’t be stingy with visiting trick-or-treaters and you can visit the Big Cats Initiative website to learn more and make a donation. You can also download a collection box wrapper, or grab a collection box at Pottery Barn Kids, participating schools, or National Geographic’s DC headquarters.