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Most of the excitement surrounding the release of Taylor Swift’s latest music video “Wildest Dreams” has been centered around the singer’s Golden Age of Hollywood-themed hair and costumes (as well as the undeniable hotness of her leading man, Scott Eastwood). Green Monsters, however, will also be thrilled to know that she is donating all of the proceeds from the video to the African Parks Foundation of America (APFA)!

APFA’s causes include the eradication of poaching, nature conservation, community engagement, and the development of sustainable tourism in some of Africa’s most vulnerable regions. The organization’s work is supported by affiliated groups in the UK and the Netherlands.

“We are facing a conservation crisis in Africa in which national parks and protected areas, and the animals that live within them, are being lost,” APFA explained. “As an example, the Central African region lost 66 percent of its elephant population in just ten years, and the situation is similar with rhino, which have dwindled from 100,000 to just 25,000 left on the continent. Habitats, such as forests, woodlands, savannahs and wetlands are under enormous pressure and almost entirely restricted to Africa’s national parks.”

The group is seeking to tackle the problem by lobbying for more effective law enforcement measures, conducting frequent surveys and censuses on African wildlife trends, and monitoring the behavior of  individual animals through collaring or tracking devices.

In light of the recent furore surrounding the death of Cecil in Zimbabwe earlier this summer, it is poignant to note that “Wildest Dreams” – which was filmed in a variety of African national parks – features a lion with a beautiful black-and-tawny mane, who bears an eerie resemblance to the slain lion. As soon as the video debuted, this lion’s appearance caused many fans to wonder whether he was, in fact, Cecil himself.

These rumors have been neither confirmed nor denied. Either way, Taylor’s decision to donate all of her proceeds from “Wildest Dreams” to the cause of wildlife conservation is a wonderful way to honor his memory … and the memory of all the other nameless animals who have been killed in the seemingly unending struggle to protect Africa’s wildlife.

The singer previously donated $50,000 to New York City’s public school system through the proceeds of her single “Welcome to New York.” Could she become as generous a philanthropist as Leonardo DiCaprio? Only time will tell. In the meantime, why not check out the video here?

Lead image: Zimbio

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