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International film star and renowned conservationist Edward Norton filmed two public service announcements on the illegal ivory trade in New York City yesterday. The messages will be part of the “Say No To Ivory” campaign launched earlier this year by WildAid and Save the Elephants.
Norton, President of the US Board for the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, said: “Reducing the demand for ivory products is essential to the survival of Kenya’s elephants and directly impacts our on the ground community conservation efforts. By strengthening community stability in Kenya and shifting consumer behavior abroad, we can save elephants and improve the lives of Maasai.”
Due to the ivory trade as many as 25,000 elephants are killed every year. Poachers recently turned to cyanide to silently kill more than 40 elephants for their ivory. As the poaching crisis escalates, national leaders including US President Barack Obama and Kenya’s First Lady, Margaret Kenyatta, have called for action.
“We need to reduce demand for ivory not just to save the elephants, but also to protect African economies and to defund organized crime,” added WildAid Executive Director Peter Knights.
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WildAid is a non-profit organization with a mission to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes. While most wildlife conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching, WildAid primarily works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products such as elephant ivory, rhino horn and shark fin soup. With an unrivaled portfolio of celebrity ambassadors and a global network of media partners, WildAid leverages more than $230 million in annual pro-bono media support with a simple message: When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too.
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