October 4th, 2013 by Nicole Meyer
NYC’s Times Square Features Anti-Elephant Poaching Billboard
A powerful, digitally animated billboard calling attention to the elephant poaching crisis in Africa, is taking over New York City’s Times Square. The billboard, which you can view here, includes audio and questions whether “a trinket is worth the price” of the massacre of elephants in order to fuel the insatiable global appetite for ivory.
The billboard is a crowd-funded campaign, spearheaded by March for Elephants—a grassroots advocacy group. The stunning graphic, which also bears the names of several organizations working to help elephants, including IDA, will be on display for the month of October, replaying every 2 minutes, 24-hours a day. This powerful message has the potential to reach millions of people at a time when African elephant populations are being decimated at record levels. It’s estimated that poachers slaughtered 35,000 elephants last year—killing one elephant every 15 minutes. At that rate, some populations could be extinct in little more than 10 years.
International March for Elephants, October 4th
On October 4th, IDA and supporters worldwide spoke out against the ivory trade in more than a dozen marches organized in cities including Bangkok, London, New York City, Los Angeles, and Toronto to share the united message: “Say NO to Ivory.”
Organized through the iWorry campaign created by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the marches called widespread attention to the ongoing slaughter of African elephants.
The International March for Elephants in NYC drew hundreds of people, including notable elephant expert Iain Douglas-Hamilton (one of the world’s foremost authorities on the African elephants), Patrick Omondi of the Kenya Wildlife Service, and celebrity advocates including Christie Brinkley and Kristin Davis.
Hundreds of people also attended the March for Elephants in Los Angeles. After assembling at the Federal Building and holding signs before a busy crowd of drivers in Westwood, the marchers walked through the streets to obvious approval from onlookers. After the march, California state Senator Ted Lieu, comedian Elayne Boosler, and actor Kristin Bauer (True Blood) shared heartfelt personal experiences and guidance for those wishing to do more to help save the elephants from their present course toward extinction.
Global Initiative to Curb Elephant Poaching Announced
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is stepping in to help to curb the poaching and trafficking of African elephants with a new plan announced as part of the Clinton Global Initiative
The three-year, $80 million effort will support anti-poaching enforcement, including the hiring of more than 3,000 guards to protect key elephant ranges and monitor global transit points, and the imposition of stiffer penalties.
The effort also hopes to address the demand for ivory in Asia and the United States. In a news report, Clinton stated that “Many people in Asia don’t understand that it’s not like losing a tooth… you have to kill the elephant to get the tusk.” The leaders of numerous African countries, including Uganda, Gabon, and Tanzania, are pledging their support of the effort.