This Monday was the start of the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s 20th annual Animal Action Week, an awareness campaign educating young people on various topics of animal cruelty, and inspiring them to take action to save animals in need.
Leonardo DiCaprio, animal activist and actor, helped kick off IFAW’s Animal Action Week by spreading the word about the cruel act of elephant poaching and illegal ivory trading.
“In 2011 an unprecedented 24.3 tons of ivory was seized by government authorities worldwide, the largest amount recorded since the 1989 ivory ban. Tragically this trend is continuing in 2012,” said DiCaprio. “Widespread poaching is being recorded throughout Africa, even in areas in southern Africa that were previously considered safe for elephants.”
DiCaprio uses his fame and fortune for a good cause, serving as IFAW’s global ambassador for the Animal Action program.
“We are thrilled to join forces again with Leonardo in our mission to help elephants live safely in the wild,” said Azzedine Downe, Executive Vice President for IFAW. “His commitment to advocating for the wellbeing of elephants is vital in our efforts to educate and inspire the next generation of conservation leaders.”
In 2011, IFAW successfully encouraged over 50,000 young students to sign pledges and create art projects to help spread the word about elephant poaching and habitat loss.
“Elephants are in crisis once again. We must come together to reduce demand for ivory in China and other countries, and to protect elephants where they live,” added DiCaprio. “We cannot continue decimating elephants and other species for products nobody needs.”
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Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons -- Siebbi