Newswise — [New York – World Elephant Day – August 12, 2014] The 96 Elephants campaign and its coalition of partners throughout the U.S. is commemorating World Elephant Day today.
As part of the World Elephant Day celebration, more than 100 partnering AZA accredited zoos and aquariums have collected and delivered more than 96,000 messages to U.S. public officials in support of a ban on the sale of ivory. Officials in Missouri, Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, Ohio, and several other states have received messages from their constituents to consider a ban on the sale of ivory to help save the species being decimated by poaching.
The 96 Elephants Campaign is focused on securing a moratorium on the sale of ivory in the U.S.; bolstering protection of African elephants; and educating the public about the link between ivory consumption and the elephant poaching crisis.
State ivory bans have recently passed in New Jersey and New York. Earlier this year, the Obama Administration proposed a sweeping federal ivory ban, which was a major accomplishment. This action is currently under fire in congress from anti-ivory ban groups and it is important that lawmakers are reminded that a ban is needed to allow the species to recover.
Supporters have also been asked to “Go Grey” today by wearing a grey ribbon or article of clothing. Participants have been taking “elphies” posting images on social media using the hashtag #GoGrey. Several celebrities have already posted elphies including Alyssa Milano, Audra McDonald, and Katie Lee. See Audra McDonald public service announcement here: http://youtu.be/clxfccsrh6A
DoSomething.org, an organization of 2.5 million young people working for social change, today launched “Justice for Elephants Campaign” asking young adults to create messages with cut out elephant tusks and send them in batches of legislators.
The Hard Rock Cafe has partnered with 96 Elephants and has created a collectable 96 Elephants pin for World Elephant Day with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the campaign to stop the slaughter of elephants for their ivory. In 43 cities across the country, Hard Rock Café is selling the pin and providing their guests a chance to participate in the campaign and be a voice for elephants.
96 Elephants was named for the number of elephants gunned down each day for their ivory. The Wildlife Conservation Society launched the campaign in September in support of the Clinton Global Initiative’s (CGI) commitment to end the crisis facing Africa’s elephants.
The 96 Elephants campaign:
• Bolsters elephant protection in the wild by increasing support for park guards, intelligence networks, and government operations in the last great protected areas for elephants throughout the Congo Basin and East Africa. (WCS recently launched elephant protection programs in four new target sites: Ivindo National Park in Gabon; Okapi Faunal Reserve in the Democratic Republic of Congo; Ruaha and Katavi National Parks in Tanzania; and Niassa National Reserve in Mozambique. In these four sites alone, 44,000 elephants are at immediate risk.)
• Funds high-tech tools in the field ranging from drones and sophisticated remote cameras that track poachers in real-time, to specially trained sniffer dogs to find smuggled ivory in ports and trading hubs.
• Engages the public through a series of actions including online petitions and letter writing campaigns enhanced through social media to support U.S. and state moratoria, increase funding, and spread the word about demand and consumption of ivory. 96 Elephants will educate public audiences about the link between the purchase of ivory products and the elephant poaching crisis, and support global moratoria and other policies that protect elephants.
To learn more about the elephant crisis and how to help eradicate the demand for ivory, visit www.96elephants.org.
WCS is leading global efforts to save Africa’s elephants and end the current poaching and ivory trafficking crisis. In September, WCS launched its 96 Elephants campaign (www.96elephants.org) to amplify and support the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) “Partnership to Save Africa’s Elephants” by stopping the killing, stopping the trafficking, and stopping the demand. The WCS campaign focuses on: securing effective moratoria on domestic sales of ivory; bolstering elephant protection; and educating the public about the link between ivory consumption and the elephant poaching crisis.
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: www.wcs.org; http://www.facebook.com/TheWCS; http://www.youtube.com/user/WCSMedia Follow: @thewcs.