I pledge to help to reduce the trade in ivory and the poaching of elephants
WILL YOU HELP US STOP THE KILLING OF ELEPHANTS? Today we are launching a campaign targeting both decision makers and the general public. The messages are clear – EVERY TUSK COSTS A LIFE; STOP THE TRADE and DON’T BUY IVORY.
On the page linked you can read more about this initiative – and you’ll find two pieces of artwork that we hope will encourage you to ACT. You can download different versions, in English or Chinese, in different resolutions. You can share on social networks and on websites, and print them on T-shirts, posters and banners. We want you to use them as long as it helps elephants! We urge you to TAKE ACTION and inspire as many of your friends as possible to join.
The writing is on the wall for elephants – share this campaign on YOUR wall, and the wall of others, and make a difference!
Best wishes, for the elephants,
Joyce and Petter
We’ve got ourselves a tumblr page – finally Come visit! http://www.tumblr.com/blog/elephantsruletheworld
After announcing his break from acting, Leonardo DiCaprio has taken on another high profile role. Today he helped launch the World Wildlife Fund’s new animal rights campaign, the “Hands Off My Parts” initiative.
The initiative aims to bring awareness to the rhinos, tigers and elephants that are being killed for their skins, bones, tusks, horns and other body parts.
DiCaprio, 38, sent a personal e-mail to urge the public to join the initiative, which includes spreading the word and signing a global petition calling on Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to ban all ivory trade in Thailand.
“Illegal wildlife trade is the most urgent threat facing species like tigers, rhinos and elephants. These animals are being killed every day to feed an escalating demand for their body parts,” DiCaprio said.
“Whole populations are at risk of being wiped out if we don’t take immediate action to shut down this illicit trade. As a key step, I am joining WWF and others calling on Thailand’s government to show leadership on elephant conservation by shutting down its ivory market before the country hosts a meeting of 177 nations on wildlife trade in March 2013.”
The “Django Unchained” actor and other celebrity animal rights activists such as Emily VanCamp, Josh Bowman, Stacy Keibler, Alyssa Milano, Ian Somerhalder and Ethan Suplee have banded together to urge immediate action on illegal wildlife trade.
The superstar announced in late January he was taking a break from acting.
“I’m a little bit drained,” he told the German newspaper Bild. “I am now going to take a long, long break.”
After doing three films — “Django Unchained,” “The Great Gatsby” and the recently finished “The Wolf of Wall Street” — in two years, DiCaprio says he’s “just worn out.”
Publicity tours for the films still loom, but DiCaprio has other plans for when his schedule slows down.
“I would like to improve the world a bit,” he said. “I will fly around the world doing good for the environment.”
Thai Ivory Ban Needed to Help Save Elephants
© WWF-Canon / James Morgan
A shop selling jewelry and trinkets made from elephant ivory in Tha Phrachan market, Thailand.
WWF has launched a global petition asking Thai Prime Minister to ban all ivory trade in Thailand in order to curb the illegal killing of African elephants. Thailand is the biggest unregulated ivory market in the world and a top driver of poaching and illegal trade.
Although it is against the law to sell ivory from African elephants in Thailand, ivory from domestic Thai elephants can be sold legally. Criminal networks are exploiting this legal loophole and flooding Thai shops with blood ivory from Africa. This has resulted in massive quantities of African ivory being laundered through shops in Thailand, fuelling the elephant poaching crisis.
Poaching is at record levels in Africa with tens of thousands of elephants slaughtered each year for their ivory tusks. Trade data from the Elephant Trade Information System released last month shows that International ivory trafficking has reached its highest recorded rate in two decades, according to recent trade data from the Elephant Trade Information System. Data analysis confirmed 2011 as a record year for ivory seizures, with 17 large-scale ivory seizures totalling an estimated 26.4 metric tons of ivory.
“It’s clear that existing Thai laws are failing to keep illegal ivory out of the market and this petition signals that the world expects Thailand to do the right thing.”
Sybille Klenzendorf Managing Director of Species Conservation
In March, representatives from 176 governments will meet in the Thai capital of Bangkok to discuss global wildlife trade issues, including rampant elephant poaching in Africa. WWF is calling on Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to use the opportunity to announce her country’s commitment to banning ivory trade in Thailand.
Sign the petition to help save elephants from the ivory trade.
The largest land mammal on earth, the African elephant weighs up to eight tons. The elephant is distinguished by its massive body, large ears and a long trunk, which has many uses ranging from using it as a hand to pick up objects, as a horn to trumpet warnings, an arm raised in greeting to a hose for drinking water or bathing.
Asian elephants differ in several ways from their African relatives. They are much smaller in size and their ears are straight at the bottom, unlike the large fan-shape ears of the African species. Only some Asian male elephants have tusks. All African elephants, including females, have tusks. Elephants are either left or right-tusked and the one they use more is usually smaller because of wear and tear. The Asian elephant has four toes on the hind foot and five on the forefoot, while the African elephant has three on the hind foot and five on the forefoot.
Led by a matriarch, elephants are organized into complex social structures of females and calves, while male elephants tend to live in isolation. A single calf is born to a female once every 4-5 years and after a gestation period of 22 months—the longest of any mammal. These calves stay with their mothers for years and are also cared for by other females in the group.
The two species of elephants—African and Asian—need extensive land to survive. Roaming in herds and consuming hundreds of pounds of plant matter in a single day, both species of elephant require extensive amounts of food, water and space. As a result, these large mammals place great demands on the environment and often come into conflict with people in competition for resources.
I’m not really sure why i feel like I’m letting my elephants down but it’s true. My heart breaks that I can’t focus all my energy on my passion. I’m so torn between two worlds. The amazing reality that I live in where I work very hard for a company I love and respect and am grateful for every morning. Then there’s this cause, this mission that I know will “exist” and flourish and thrive without me — a little water is all that most loves need. My heart is soaring because I know that I’ve found my passion. I have seen what I want to happen in my life and what I want to achieve with all my lofy ambitions!
There are so many people who deserve support more than I do. People who have dedicated their lives to elephant conservation and will stop at nothing to ensure as many elephants are safe and loved and cared for as possible. I am in awe of those incredible, beautiful, amazing people who realized far earlier than I that this is what mattered most in their lives.
What we all must understand is that we can do nothing but save elephants if we don’t star educating people. educating them on eco-tourism, on how best to interact with the elephants they have come to see. We much re-educate tourists! We need to show them that walking in the forest with elephants, feeding them, watching them play in the river…If we must use these incredible creatures to make tourists “happy” then at the very least we must offer tourists MORE than just elephant rides and circus tricks.
We MUST take responsibility for the fact that we are promoting the wrong form of tourism! We need to take the bull by the horns and TELL tourists that elephant rides and circus tricks are no longer an option.
It breaks my heart that the Thai government isn’t promoting this form of ecotourism is because it’s too COMPLICATED! It takes too much effort to train a mahout to walk with their elephant in the forest than to let them just put the elephant in the circus.
Only this time watching rather than twirling. That image that haunted and comforted me all these years in front of me – like a still photo come to life. A tear flows – just one – in sync with a smile filled with joy and love. How much it took to find peace. To find love. To find faith. To find hope and joy. Just then a little flutter; and I knew, we were home…