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Bring The Wild To Life With Safari Selfies Wherever You Are

August 21, 2017

  • Pioneering app brings wild animals to life with your smartphone
  • Snap them in your world then add to social media to win African safari
  • Contest raises funds for animal charities in Africa and Americas

Safari Central, from gaming group Internet of Elephants, uses data from animal protection organisations to create Augmented Reality (AR) versions of real animals including elephants, jaguars, and lemurs, in a free app that players download to their phones.

There they can unleash their creativity to take photos of their favourite animals wherever they are. A virtual rhino might be snapped charging down the Champs Elysees in Paris, or a pangolin starting a climb over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, or a grizzly bear barging between tables at a streetside cafe in Chicago.

Players enter their favourite images to a photo contest on social media using the hashtag #RewildYourWorld. The competition runs to October 7th, and features weekly challenges to capture all of the six species involved — grizzly bears, indri lemurs, black rhinoceroses, African elephants, pangolins, and jaguars — as well as an overall Augmented Reality Wildlife Photographer of the Year winner.

“The grand vision is to get millions of people around the world to think about wildlife for five minutes every day, and think about it positively,” says Gautam Shah, founder of Internet of Elephants, the initiators and makers of Safari Central. “Conservation suffers from so much bad news and gloomy images. People just want to turn the page or change the channel. But there are more than two billion people who play online or computer games. What if by playing our games we can get even a fraction of them to be addicted to wildlife? That could be a real game-changer for conservation.”

It’s free to download the app and to enter your first photographs into the competition. Players can then opt to buy more ‘photo film’, and those micro payments accumulate and go to the six conservation organisations partnering with Internet of Elephants: Chicago Zoological Society at Brookfield Zoo, Conservation International, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Space for Giants, Tswalu Foundation, and The Institute for the Conservation of Neotropical Carnivores — “Pro-Carnivores”.

Each organisation gave Internet of Elephants data and images on actual animals that they research and monitor. The game designers then used that information to create virtual versions of those very animals for the photo competition.

Beby the Indri lives in Madagascar, one of the most critically endangered ecosystems in the world, where Conservation International is working on teaching children about eradicating lemur traps.

“With the scale of the challenge facing wildlife across the world, particularly in Africa, we need to continuously find better ways to engage people and policy makers,” said Michael O’Brien-Onyeka, Senior Vice President, Africa Field Division at Conservation International. “Safari Central offers us a huge opportunity to do this, and we’re very pleased to be partnering with Internet of Elephants in this endeavour.”

Safari Central’s AR animals will go on to feature in a full Internet of Elephants game scheduled for release for the summer of 2018.

It will use GPS data of the animals’ movements across their territories — a jaguar patrolling the Brazilian rainforest, perhaps, or an elephant browsing Kenya’s savannah — and overlay that to selected world cities. Players will then track and try to spot the animals’ virtual twins, picking up insights into their behaviour that give them tactical advantages.

To learn more and download the app please go to www.safaricentralgame.com.


Media Contacts

Internet of Elephants

Conservation International

About Conservation International

Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, Conservation International works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about Conservation International and its groundbreaking “Nature is Speaking” campaign, and follow Conservation International’s work on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.