I became a WildAid shark ambassador in 2018; since then, I have learned a lot about sharks and other endangered wildlife, as well as the role Hong Kong plays as an international hub for wildlife trade.
In learning about WildAid, I have come to realize that it is especially easy for people living in Hong Kong to be unaware of the threats facing wildlife. With the combined efforts of Whiskers and Paws, WildAid has started a campaign to #EndTheTrade in Hong Kong this year. Through this campaign, we are hoping to strengthen the public’s connection to wildlife so they can better understand the impact their individual actions can have on endangered animals like sharks, rhinos, pangolins, and elephants.
Running until March 2021, Hong Kong residents can participate in a series of fun virtual events that include signing a petition to end the wildlife trade, building 3D wildlife origami, and purchasing a “Love Animals Love Life Collection Pack”.
I have really enjoyed completing the rhino origami challenge as well as signing the #EndTheTrade petition. What started off to be an exciting and fun hands-on activity became an awakening for me. While making my origami rhino, I found that one small mistake here and one big error there quickly tested my patience and perseverance. The thought of giving up crossed my mind several times until I was told more about the Northern White Rhinos – they now sadly are functionally extinct.
In 2018, the last male Northern White Rhino named Sudan passed away, leaving behind two females destined to never be able to reproduce naturally again. This effectively will drive the Northern White Rhino to extinction. It is now too late for the Northern White Rhinos, however there are many things we can do to help other wildlife threatened with extinction.
We must understand that the unnecessary and ill-informed demand for endangered species products are the driving poachers to hunt them to extinction. We must understand it is the places, like Hong Kong, that are far away from wildlife that are fueling this industry. We must #EndTheTrade to protect other wildlife from having the same fate as the Northern White Rhinos.
Yes, there is a long road ahead of us, but we are hoping to jump-start the patience and perseverance in everyone for the crusade to protect all other wild animals through #EndTheTrade.
Please come and join us to stop all the killing by putting a stop to the buying. Help us end the illegal wildlife trade and sign the petition today at www.endthetrade.com.
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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 $218 million in annual pro-bono media support with a simple message: When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too.
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