Now You See Me, Now You Don’t

January 30, 2019

WildCRU’s Dr Amy Dickman is spokesperson for National Geographic as they raise awareness of its Big Cats Initiative with a disappearing poster in London, designed by street artist, Dean Zeus Colman. The emotive artwork is a poignant reminder of the role humans play in the demise of big cats.


A 260 sq. ft missing cat poster with a difference has appeared in London’s Paternoster Square as a tangible reminder of the world’s dwindling big cat populations.

The missing cat in question, affectionally named as Archie, is not an average neighbourhood moggy but a majestic lion, one of the highly threatened big cat species. The artwork was commissioned by National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative to highlight the worrying demise of these magnificent creatures.

The missing cat poster was slowly and unwittingly rubbed out by members of the public as they went about their business – a poignant reminder that lions are being wiped out and we need to act now before it’s too late. A nationwide Missing Cat poster campaign replicating the dramatic image also goes live today in Bristol, Leeds, Manchester and Edinburgh

Big cats are in grave danger, and the iconic lion species is under serious threat; research shows that lions have disappeared from 90% of their historic range1. Nearly half of remaining lion range is outside of protected areas and is therefore particularly vulnerable.

Dr Amy Dickman is a National Geographic Explorer and Senior Research Fellow in Field Conservation at University of Oxford, who runs the Ruaha Carnivore Project in Tanzania. She commented, “Lions play a central role in British culture – they are the UK’s national animal and appear on everything from our national football team’s shirts to the door knocker of 10 Downing Street. Yet, the reality is that, lions are dying out at an alarming rate.”

World renowned street artist, Dean Zeus Colman, completed the big missing cat poster using 6 base colours, 100 chalks, 8 cans of spray chalk and over two litres of paint. It took Colman over 12 hours to complete the feline feature.

Dean Zeus Colman added, “Using the familiarity of a neighbourhood missing cat poster, but with a wild twist, helped bring resonance to the piece. The magic happened when we unveiled the artwork and allowed members of the public to walk straight across our poster. Each of them helped to slowly rub out Archie – reflecting the impact we humans have on big cats living in the wild.”

To find out more about the Big Cats Initiative and how you can support its conservation efforts visit