The Mineko Club, a volunteer group in Hitachi City, is working to raise funds for revitalisation of the Kamine Zoo.
The zoo wrapped the animals' playthings, such as an old tire and a giant rubber ball, in denim, then let the animals claw, slash and bite the fabric for a while. It then offered jeans made from the distressed fabric for sale through a Yahoo auction, which took place from 7 to 14 July.
Pairs of jeans 'designed by lions' sold for ¥152,000 (US$1,494) and ¥51,000 (US$501), while a pair 'designed by tigers' also sold for ¥152,000. The proceeds will be divided 50-50 between the WWF Japan and the Kamine Zoo. At the zoo, the funds will help fund improvements to the animals' environments.
The project received promotion through an exhibition at the Kamine Zoo’s Elephant Café, a press event for local media on the exhibition's opening day and a website. The event also generated a respectable amount of earned-media coverage.