NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Sep 24, 2013) - On Friday, October 4, thousands of people will march in solidarity for elephants in 15 cities globally; the single largest public demonstration of support for the species, which is under threat of extinction.
The International March for Elephants, organized by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) through its iWORRY campaign, will raise global awareness of the illegal ivory trade and its devastating impact on elephant populations. An estimated 36,000 elephants are being killed annually for their ivory; at this rate there could be no elephants in the wild by 2025. This critical issue is receiving prominent support, including that of President Obama, the Clinton Foundation, HRH Prince William and Kenya's First Lady Margaret Kenyatta.
Despite an international ban on trade in ivory, elephant poaching is on the rise, driven by a demand for ivory in Asia and other markets, including the USA, where ownership is seen as a sign of wealth and status. Illicit wildlife trade has serious implications:
- One elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its ivory.
- Criminal syndicates are involved and terrorist groups are known to be using ivory to fund activities, a threat to national and global security.
- In countries and communities reliant on wildlife tourism, millions of people risk losing their livelihoods
- More than 1,000 wildlife rangers have been killed in the course of protecting wildlife over the last decade.
Founder of the DSWT, Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick DBE, voices her concerns, "A world without elephants is hard to comprehend. Their extinction would not only bring heartbreak, but a substantial and severe strain on Africa's political and economic stability." Dame Daphne's knowledge of elephants' intelligence and human-like emotions is unrivalled, having successfully rescued and hand-reared more than 150 orphaned infant elephants.
On October 4, NGOs, leading conservationists, and celebrities including Kristin Davis will address crowds in New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and 12 other cities globally as the public calls for immediate global action to protect elephants. Dame Daphne says the U.S. Government has a leading role to play, "Without international cooperation from world leaders and law enforcement officials, the survival of this species hangs in the balance." She continues, "President Obama's Administration is presently leading the way, but now we need Congress, international government organizations and world leaders to act urgently and collaboratively to kill the illicit ivory trade and protect elephants, before it's too late."
Other participating cities include: Arusha, Bangkok, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Edinburgh, London, Melbourne, Munich, Nairobi, Rome, Toronto, and Wellington. Learn more at: www.iworry.org.