Two South African cyclists began cross-country ride in Portland - KPTV - FOX 12

Two South African cyclists began cross-country ride in Portland to honor Cecil the lion

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Gustav Erlank and Susanne Holste beginning their 4,000 mile journey on the Tilikum Crossing. (KPTV) Gustav Erlank and Susanne Holste beginning their 4,000 mile journey on the Tilikum Crossing. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

July 1 marks one year since a lion named Cecil was shot and killed by a hunter in Zimbabwe, and now two cyclists have started a cross-country journey to honor the lion and raise awareness for endangered African animals.

The two cyclists from South Africa, Gustav Erlank and Susanne Holste, started their journey pedaling across the Tilikum Crossing. They plan to ride 4,000 miles from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine.

They hope the cross-county ride will raise awareness and save other endangered animals from being shot and killed like Cecil.

"We thought if we can find opportunity to bring a lot of awareness across the states to people about protecting the iconic wildlife of Kenya, that would be awesome," said Holste.

The 80-day journey is also a fundraiser for a non-profit organization called Eco-Miles which supports The Big Life Foundation.

The Big Life Foundation hires hundreds of local rangers in east Africa to protect endangered wildlife.

If you would like to track Erlank's and Holste's journey, visit trackmytour.com or  www.facebook.com/ecomiles.org.

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