News

Actor Advocates Animal Rights in Toronto

It's not unusual for animal-rights activists to visit the Ontario legislature, but yesterday's famous speaker had no problem attracting attention.

Actor and activist Bo Derek ignited some excitement at Queen's Park during a visit to speak about endangered and trafficked species and to promote the website Wildaid.org.

Politicians greeted Derek in the legislature and journalists rushed to an impromptu question-and-answer session with the former Playboy cover girl.

The 50-year-old actor, famed for her role in the movie 10, spoke about the illegal trade of animal parts.

"A lot of people who travel especially will buy trinkets -- even in duty-free shops around the world -- thinking that it's all right and that it's legal and it's not," she told reporters. "Sometimes, for traditional medicine it'll be tiger bone, rhino horn, bear gall bladder, but then also you have certain caviars, coral jewelry, ivory."

Derek stood beside Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay and gave her support to Ontario's legislation to protect endangered species.

"We're just very honoured that you're here and recognizing the work that our government has done in regards to endangered species," Ramsay told Derek. "We do think it's very important work and we're pleased our legislation is now the gold standard in North America."

Ramsay was teased in front of Derek about his recent award as the Ontario legislature's sexiest male politician.