Conservationist Dresses As Amphibians To Save Them

Gabby Wild, founder of the Gabby Wild Foundation, and current veterinary medicine student at Cornell University, is taking her passion for conservation to a high-fashion level. With the help of Academy and Emmy Award-Winning make up artists Brian Sipe and Jennifer Aspinall, Wild has been transformed into a visual work of art for the sake of endangered species.

The project, "Metamorphosis," was inspired by a shrinking amphibian population and is co-led by Wild and fellow conservationist, Robin Moore. With the decadent and other-worldly photos, they intend to raise awareness of the how human interaction with the environment is affecting animal populations and how that reaction affects humans in turn. According to their Kickstarter profile, each photo will "embody a metaphor," that conveys the idea that "humans and amphibians... are bound by the same fate of the environment," and that in our dependence on a healthy planet, we are one in the same.

According to Wild, "[Nearly] half of all 7,000 species of amphibians are endangered from a lethal cocktail of habitat loss, disease, climate change and pollution." She also said that one way in which humans are affected by the loss of certain species of frogs is medicinal potential: Frogs produce a number of chemicals in their skin, including hallucinogens, glues and anti-microbials, to ward off infection and stop other animals from trying to eat them. These chemicals have numerous medicinal properties for people--many of which have yet to be discovered." She said that this is just the tip of the ice-berg as to why she and her team are trying to save them.

The plan for the first set of photos was simple: Sipe and Aspinall don Wild in the colors and textures of various frogs, lizards and amphibians alike, and Moore photographs Wild posed with the specific creature that she was made to resemble.

Here are some samples from the first round of shots:

Vietnamese Mossy Frog

Waxy Monkey Frog

South American Horned Frog

Luristan Newt

Waxy Monkey Frog

Apparently the first set of photos reached enough notoriety and success that Wild and her team are back in action. But they need the funds. They've begun a Kickstarter campaign to gather the dough. Hopefully, a new set of photos will be made, and we'll all be treated to more whimsical portraits of Wild seated with nature's most colorful creatures.

For more photos of Metamorphosis, visit Moore's gallery.


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