The YouTube prankster is looking to raise £100,000 to combat the impact of Australian bushfires.
Ben Phillips, who has 4.5 million followers on YouTube, has ceased his pranks and is focusing his energy on soliciting funds for the Irwin Foundation.
He has called on his followers and fellow creators to give money to help the wildlife threatened by Australian bushfires that have to date destroyed over 26 million acres of land and killed 28 people. The fires started in June 2019 and have been described as some of the worst bushfires in memory.
I’ve seen enough with the Australian bush fires… these poor animals will need food, water, rehabilitation, new homes the lot so I’ve decided to help Steve Irwin’s Zoo warriors who have already saved 100,000 animals, PLEASE DONATE! https://t.co/lhU1vfYQAW
— Ben Phillips (@BenPhillipsUK) January 5, 2020
Phillips has tagged others on Twitter, including Alfie Deyes, asking for their help or congratulating them for contributing. He also promised to follow on Twitter anyone who helped raise funds for the cause.
I’ll follow all of you who get behind this! Like and retweet everything get it seem… like and share whatever just do the most!
— Ben Phillips (@BenPhillipsUK) January 6, 2020
In an interview with TenEighty Magazine, Phillips said “we can all use our platform and opportunities to help others more. We only have one planet and over a billion animals have died, this needed attention and support bringing to it and I’m thankful to everyone who’s supported so far.”
He revealed that he was inspired to get involved by “images (that have now gone viral) of the animals caught up in the bushfires.” He added “They’re heart wrenching and I couldn’t stand by and watch this get worse.”
Asked about the power of the internet to help with crises, he said “Social media was/is bringing people together from all over the world to help combat the fires. Everyone can help.” He admitted that the fundraising goal was “ambitious” and that there was “still a fair bit to raise”. At the time of writing, there was still £20,000 to go.
However, Phillips was confident that the fundraising effort would help and stated “This is only the start. We’re in conversations with the zoo and want to help as many animals as we can.”
So proud of you guys raising £80k for the Australian zoos! Your insane we did it!! Many Thanks to @FORTAFY for helping us get this far as well! Insane work… thanks to the team as well.
— Ben Phillips (@BenPhillipsUK) January 17, 2020
You can donate to Phillip’s fundraising drive here.