Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o is a global advocate for elephants with international conservation organization WildAid. Ms. Nyong’o is a spokesperson for elephants and is featured in messages for international distribution in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, China, Hong Kong, Thailand and the United States, which is designed to raise awareness of the elephant-poaching crisis and to reduce the demand for ivory in consuming markets.“Brave and dedicated people are giving their lives to protect our elephants,” Ms. Nyong’o said. “They need all of our support, from people in the United States and Asia by not buying ivory, and from Kenyans in supporting anti-poaching by reporting wildlife crime. Poaching undermines national security and endangers jobs and community support derived from tourism.”
Though Kenya banned the ivory trade 25 years ago, economic mobility in Asia has produced a new class of ivory consumers who have recreated demand and stimulated the illegal ivory trade, resulting in an escalating poaching crisis. Across Africa, up to 33,000 elephants are killed annually for their ivory – militant groups and international criminal syndicates profit from the trade.
WildAid CEO Peter Knights said: “There has been a 50% increase in awareness of elephant poaching in China in the last two years, 95% of Chinese surveyed support a ban on ivory sales, and the government recently announced a phase-out of legal ivory sales. Kenya has passed new stricter laws and is cracking down through the courts. So there is some light at the end of the tunnel for elephants, and we hope Lupita can help us all secure their future.” (wildaid.org)
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“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin
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