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Elephants are facing some serious issues today, chief among them poaching and exploitation for entertainment. Not to be all doom and gloom, but the reality is, if something isn’t done we could see a world without them in just two decades. Can you imagine a world without elephants?! Neither can we!

African elephants are routinely hunted, despite laws forbidding it, for their ivory tusks in order to produce trinkets and jewelry on the black market. While many countries are doing their part to make the purchase of ivory products harder by outlawing their sale, the demand from consumers still allows for it to be a profitable business.

Which is why many people are taking a stand to help, including lots of very notable celebrities. Using their star-power to raise awareness on social media, speaking before Congress and urging consumers to stop purchasing ivory, these famous folk are doing what they can to make a difference for an animal that we might see vanish within our lifetimes. To us, and elephants, this is the most important role they could play.

 

Ricky Gervais

A huge proponent for animals of all kinds, Ricky has been outspoken about the need to stop the ivory trade, calling on Londoners to hand in their ivory to authorities in an effort to remove it from circulation. He’s voiced his criticisms loud and clear saying, “Elephants could be extinct by 2030 if the ivory trade remains the same, and for what? For trinkets for morons to own? That’s f%$#ing mental!”

We Love These Celebrities For Speaking Up For Elephants!Wikimedia Commons

Yao Ming

There are few celebrities as dedicated to ending ivory poaching than this former basketball star. Recently staring in a special for Animal Planet called, ‘Saving Africa’s Giants With Yao Ming,’ the larger than life animal lover has lobbied hard to impose a ban on ivory in China, delivering petitions to the government there in an effort to make a difference.

 We Love These Celebrities For Speaking Up For Elephants!Wikimedia Commons

Jon Stewart

Using the platform of his ever popular Daily Show, Stewart raised awareness about the disproportionate numbers of elephants being killed versus elephants being born. Saying in only the way he can, “It’s clear we’ve got two options people. Either we as humans can decrease our consumption of ivory by no longer buying trinkets we don’t even need or elephants can lose this two year gestation thing and start shooting out pups like a t-shirt cannon.”

We Love These Celebrities For Speaking Up For Elephants!Wikimedia Commons

Jorja Fox

The CSI actress lobbied in 2011 for the US to join a growing list of nations that outlaw elephants from touring with circuses. A spokesperson for Animal Defenders International (ADI), she also produced a movie in 2013 called ‘How I Became An Elephant‘ about a young girl’s quest to save elephants from the exploitation they face at the hands of entertainment and trekking industries.

We Love These Celebrities For Speaking Up For Elephants!Wikimedia Commons

Leonardo DiCaprio

Founder of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and legendarily generous conservationist, the actor contributed $1 million to the Elephant Crisis Fund in an effort to eliminate ivory poaching and trafficking right at the source.

We Love These Celebrities For Speaking Up For Elephants!Wikimedia Commons

Kristin Davis

Her character on Sex and the City may have been prim and proper, but when it comes to elephant welfare, Kristin Davis isn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves and fight for the precious pachyderms. A Humane Society Wyler Award recipient in 2011 for the attention she brought to the plight of orphaned African elephants, Davis has worked with the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and has even rescued a baby elephant. Saying of her passion, “Elephants are truly amazing animals and they need our protection, and what people in this country may not realize is that they can help by not buying ivory items.”

We Love These Celebrities For Speaking Up For Elephants!Wikimedia Commons

Angelina Jolie

Often the face of many humanitarian efforts, Jolie is set to direct the movie ‘Africa’ (written by Eric Roth) about archeologist Richard Leakey’s fight against ivory poachers in Kenya. Saying of the project, “I’ve felt a deep connection to Africa and its culture for much of my life, and was taken with Eric’s beautiful script about a man drawn into the violent conflict with elephant poachers who emerged with a deeper understanding of man’s footprint and a profound sense of responsibility for the world around him,”

We Love These Celebrities For Speaking Up For Elephants!Wikimedia Commons

Ian Somerhalder

Known in the acting world for his parts on Lost and The Vampire Diaries, Somerhalder is also the founder of the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, which focuses on animal rights and environmental initiatives. He recently went before Congress to urge tightening a domestic ban on ivory and very publicly morned the poaching of the african elephant Satao, tweeting, “YOUNG PEOPLE! TELL YOUR PARENTS THIS IS BULLS—T! A MAGNIFICENT CREATURE KILLED?! FOR WHAT?! RIP YOU AMAZING CREATURE!!”

We Love These Celebrities For Speaking Up For Elephants!Wikimedia Commons

Edward Norton

We may know him as the star of films like Fight Club and American History X, but did you also know that Edward Norton serves as president of the US Board for the Massai Wilderness conservation trust? A dedicated conservationist, he filmed two PSAs for WildAid‘s “Say No to Ivory” campaign in an effort to bring awareness to the plight of elephants, saying, “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.”

We Love These Celebrities For Speaking Up For Elephants!Wikimedia Commons

David Beckham

Yes, this man can play some mean soccer (or football if you’re from, well, everywhere outside the US), but he also likes to harness his energies for conservation too. Teaming up with Prince William, Beckham took part in the #WhoseSideAreYouOn initiative from United For Wildlife which asks social media users to pledge their allegiance to either exploited wildlife, or the poachers themselves. Saying of his participation, “When I learned of the current poaching levels in Africa, I immediately agreed to help get this message out. It is shocking to think that we could lose these animals from the wild in our lifetimes,”

 We Love These Celebrities For Speaking Up For Elephants!Wikimedia Commons

How can you help?

  • Don’t purchase ivory. Refusing to continue the demand for this product will make poaching elephants for it useless. After China, the United States is the world’s second largest consumer of Ivory. If we stop buying, poachers will be out of a job.
  • Avoid the zoo. The poaching industry and zoos go hand in hand as many animals are wild caught and placed in captivity at zoos internationally.
  • Refuse to patronize places that use elephants for attractions such as rides or shows. This includes elephant trekking excursions, circuses and baby elephant encounters. In order for an elephant to be docile enough for human interaction like this, they were removed from their mothers at a very young age and subjected to cruel training.
  • Donate! There are a variety of organizations that work to help elephants. Supporting them helps them continue their mission to save these magnificent creatures.

Lead image source: Risewall

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0 comments on “These Celebrities Are Speaking Up For Elephants, so we Don’t Lose Them Forever”

Click to add comment
Wendy Tucker
2 Years Ago

I was very impressed with the celebrities in the

above article who are focusing on fighting

against the ivory trade and trying to save

elephants in the wild from poachers. This to me,

shows genuine concern for animal welfare.

I was very disappointed to see that others are

chosing to fight against elephants in captivity;

negative comments are made in the article

against zoos, stating "poaching industry and

zoos go hand in hand"?? What an incredibly

irresponsible and untrue statement! There are

many very wonderful zoos that pour a great deal

of money into not only caring for their own

elephants, but supporting organizations that

help elephants in the wild, both African and

Asian. Scientific information is gathered not

only from studying wild elephants, but captive

elephants as well. This information is shared

with every responsible elephant scientist or

care giver, no matter what situation they are

in. This benefits all elephants, because the

article is right when it states that elephants will be gone within a few generations if we don\'t work to save them.

It is also important to note that elephants have not been wild-caught and imported into North America in over 30 years, so that statement "animals" being imported was deliberately misleading. We are talking about the plight of

elephants here.

Some of these celebrities are known followers of

animals rights extremist groups, such as ADI

that was mentioned. They have been relentlessly

persecuting Have Truck Will Travel for years

trying to prove they are cruel to their

elephants because they travel to fairs and give

rides, and act in movies (Water for Elephants is

one) and do commercials. The reality is this is

one of the finest elephants facilites in the

world, with some of the highest standards of

animal care.

It is also untrue that elephants that travel and

perform with circuses live a cruel and horrible

life. There are so many government inspections

agencies that visit every circus in North

America, in every city that they perform, that

these days no one could get away with not taking proper care of their animals. They receive the highest standard of veterinary care, comfortable living quarters (even when they travel) and the best food. We also need to realize even if there were no laws to protect the animals, good animal people detest bad animal people, and the bad ones don\'t last in the industry.

I have on many occasions spent time as a guest

and observer behind the scenes of RBBB Blue

Unit, with the very elephants at the centre of

the Feld trial. I stayed within a few feet of

the elephants\' area, often for a week or more at

a time. Nothing was hidden from me; I saw

everything that went on. I had access to

watching the elephants, all of them, 24 hours a

day. There was no torture, there were no

beatings. I did however, see corrections

(discipline) on occasion. Anyone with well

behaved and happy kids, dogs or whatever,

understands what this is. Animal rights

activists do not seem to understand the concept

of discipline and expecting good behavior,

possibly because they are undisciplined

themselves.

The elephants are not beaten into submission in

order to get them to perform;they actually enjoy

their lives and enjoy their routines.

Elephants that travel and perform or give rides

do so for three reasons:
1) To generate income to contribute to the

enormous cost of maintaining them
2) To give exposure to elephants and keep them

in the awareness of the general public, so that

we will continue to care about them as an

endangered species that needs our help to

survive
3) Training and/or performing provides the

mental and physical exercise and stimulation

that is imperative to keeping them healthy and

happy in captivity.

If you are true advocates for the welfare of elephants, please, please educate yourself on what really must be done to keep these magnificent animals alive for generations

to come, instead of attacking the very people

who work so hard to keep them from extinction.

We must allow places like zoos, safari parks and circuses to continue the important work that they do, or we will face the very real possibility of never being able to see a live elephant again. If that were to happen, we will all suffer an enormous and irretrievable loss. I for one will continue to support those who fight so hard to keep that from happening.


Reply
Joan How
2 Years Ago

I would be much more impressed by Prince William if he gave up hunting and shooting altogether. He should suggest to his sister-in-law that it is not politic to pose with her friends surrounded by dead pheasants. Rather makes a mockery of it doesn\'t it.


Reply
Sirini
25 Apr 2015

I wanted to press the \'LIKE\' tab on this one!



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