Cara Delevingne was on Friday shown bonding with an adorable lion cub whilst working on the Paris Fashion Week shoot for a new campaign for Swiss luxury watch brand TAG Heuer, and appeared unfazed when the animal pawed at her neck and chewed on her finger. She also posed next to a fully grown lion, and shared a picture on Instagram with the caption, “I can’t always contain my inner animal“. TAG Heuer seem to have acknowleged Cara’s ‘inner animal’ when casting her, as Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of TAG Heuer said: “We needed someone disruptive yet elegant like Cara to open our minds to the brashness and boldness of today’s youth. TAG Heuer has set its sights on “it-ness”, and Cara is just the person to help us get there“.
However, concern has been expressed for the young cub, as animal rights groups have argued that the creature would have felt uncomfortable during the shoot and that its presence should not be relevant for a fashion campaign, as World Animal Protection wildlife expert Dr Neil D’Cruze commented: “Lion cubs are not photo props. Their health and well-being should not be compromised. They belong in the wild, not draped over a celebrity just to sell a designer watch. When you look behind the scenes, advertisements like these support an industry that relies on animal cruelty. Our concern is that such high profile adverts will legitimise these cruel encounters with wild animals. I am sure that both advertisers and consumers alike would think twice about the commercial use of wild animals if they were aware of the suffering involved behind the scenes”. However, Cara has not responded to the criticism and has continued to post pictures from the shoot on Instagram.