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Mongol West End Show Donates to Save Ultra-Rare Gobi Bear from Extinction

The #SaveMazaalai campaign

The #SaveMazaalai campaign

‘The Mongol Khan’ West End show gets behind the #SaveMazaalai campaign

This is the first time any Mongolian production has been performed anywhere in Europe.”
— Director Hero Baatar
LONDON, UK, November 28, 2023 / -- London West End show ‘The Mongol Khan’ will donate a portion of its profits to efforts to save an ultra-rare bear species that lives in Mongolia’s remote Gobi Desert. The campaign aims to raise awareness and funds for the conservation and protection of this species, which is on the verge of extinction due to poaching and the loss of habitat.

Gobi bears, (Ursus arctos gobiensis and known locally as Mazaalai), face a critical threat to their existence, with an estimated 30 to 40 bears remaining in the wild – compared with approximately 2,000 Giant Pandas. The Gobi bear has now been named as the Mongolian National Pride Animal by the President of Mongolia, Ukhnaagiin Khürelsükh, in an effort to highlight the catastrophically low number of individual animals remaining.

The area Gobi bears inhabit was declared a nature reserve in 1953. By the 1980s the animal was severely endangered. It appears in the Mongolian Red Book of Endangered Animals and is listed by the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Gobi bears mainly eat roots, berries, other plants and sometimes, rodents.

They are the only bears to have evolved and adapted to living in conditions that are as extreme as those found in the Gobi desert, which is both arid and where temperatures can drop to more than 30 degrees below zero in the harsh winters. They have very low genetic diversity, among the lowest ever observed in any subspecies of brown bear, as it is one of the smallest and most isolated brown bear populations in the world.

The #SaveMazaalai campaign will plant high-protein vegetables and other fodder plants eaten by the bears in the Gobi soil. More than 20 forage centres will be established in their habitat range in order to contribute to saving bears from starvation and to create the conditions for them to breed.

Funds at the rate of 1% of profits will be contributed from sales of the graphic novel of ‘The Mongol Khan’ theatre production currently being staged at the London Coliseum until 2nd December. The graphic novel is available from the production’s website

— ENDS —

Press contacts:

PR agency: Lantern Comitas

Notes to Editors:

The Mongol Khan, which has played to packed audiences at the London Coliseum since 17 November, is based on historical events and explores the evolution of Mongolian culture in a gripping story, brought to life with a stunning original score, dance, puppetry, and elaborate sets and costumes inspired by traditional nomadic culture.

“This is the first time any Mongolian production has been performed anywhere in Europe,” says the Director Hero Baatar.

The Mongol Khan was written in 1998 by renowned Mongolian writer and poet Lkhagvasuren Bavuu and was revived in April 2022 at the Mongolian State Academic Theatre of Drama. The story is fictional and the production takes inspiration from archaeological findings, traditional nomadic dances, and the music of the ancient Hun culture of Central Asia from the period of the Hunnic Empire.


Aidan Hartley
Lantern Comitas
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