February 10th marks the Arabian Leopard with an array of different activations! This is the second annual Arabian Leopard Day, and inaugurates the first Arabian Leopard Week.
Set to take place from the 10th of February until the 13th, the second annual Arabian Leopard Day 2023 is set to be marked with a week filled with activities and educational fun across the country. The Arabian Leopard Day 2023 celebrates the birth of four leopard cubs at the breeding center and major rewilding advances in the past 22 months.
Activities include an international outdoor campaign, an augmented reality Snapchat lens, and an outdoor digital exhibition and a new walking trail in AlUla.
What is the goal of this day?
Led by the Royal Commission for AlUla and the conservation partners, the goal of this week is to increase awareness of leopards’ plight and build public support for actions to conserve the species by regenerating the native habitat of Critically Endangered species in the north-west of Saudi.
Last year, the Arabian Leopard Day was only celebrated on February 10, however with its array of different awareness tactics, it will be celebrated before and after that day, launching the first ever ‘Arabian Leopard Week’.
What to expect from the event?
An outdoor campaign that is set to spread international awareness, along with an international outdoor advertising campaign that will be going live in the UK with a video highlighting the plight of the Arabian Leopard to go live on significant buildings including Piccadilly in London and NASDAQ in New York City.
A new 7-kilometer permanent trail at AlUla’s Sharaan Nature Reserve emphasizing the connection between healthy habitats and healthy species. The ‘Arabian Leopard Celebration Trail’ is a collaboration of RCU and the Catmosphere foundation and is intended to be the first of a global network of Catwalk Trails. The AlUla community is invited to visit on February 11 and enjoy the trail’s sandy dunes, gentle escarpments and shaded gulleys.
An augmented-reality (AR) Snapchat Lens showing a simulated Arabian Leopard roaming the spectacular Hegra landmark Tomb of Lihyan Son of Kuza (also known as Qasr Al Farid).
A digital exhibition in AlUla’s Ashar Valley with projections of the Arabian Leopard being beamed onto the surrounding Hijaz Mountains. The exhibition, a collaboration of RCU and Catmosphere, is open to the public on February 10 and 11.
Launch of a series of Deep Dive videos produced in partnership with Catmosphere from 10 February onwards, in Arabic and English, providing an overview of the Arabian Leopard and conservation efforts to save the species.
“The Arabian Leopard is a formidable symbol of our aim to conserve and safeguard AlUla’s natural environment. Unfortunately, the sad reality is that the Arabian Leopard is Critically Endangered with threats to its natural habitat highlighting the pressing need to step up conservation efforts that are so vital to the species’ long-term survival. It is our ongoing commitment to mark Arabian Leopard Day and engage with activities to raise awareness of, and help to protect, these magnificent big cats.” Said Dr. Stephen Browne, Wildlife & Natural Heritage Executive Director at RCU.
Safeguarding the future of the Arabian Leopard is an objective closely linked with Saudi pride and identity. As more and more people become aware of the plight of the species and its role in our shared history, support for conservation efforts has grown across the Kingdom.
To prepare for the eventual return of Arabian Leopards to the wild, RCU has released native species of prey animals into vast nature reserves, increased efforts to track and protect wild leopards, and regenerated natural areas managed by teams of RCU-led and trained experts with the goal of restoring a lost yet essential balance to AlUla’s delicate ecosystems. The return of the Arabian Leopard will be the final piece of a sensitive and complicated puzzle.
For more info on Arabian Leopard Week, make sure to head to Experience AlUla’s website