October 4th, 2011 09:58 EST
Leonardo DiCaprio Says Elephants Are In Serious Crisis
Elephants are in serious crisis.
Even now - 20 years after an international ban on ivory trade was put in place - elephants are still being killed at an alarming rate just for the sake of their ivory tusks, which are traded on a global black market that rivals guns and drugs in size and scope.
As a result, I`m saddened to tell you that elephant populations in some African countries, like Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo, are near extinction.
I know you care deeply about this issue, and I`m certain you feel as I do that we must turn back this assault on elephants now!
You can help save elephants by joining with me and IFAW for this year`s Animal Action Week, from October 3-9. Some seven million teachers, students and their families in more than 15 countries worldwide will participate.
This year`s theme, "Elephants, Never Forget," celebrates this beloved species, highlights the threats they face and provides steps we can all take to help protect them.
A Web of Cruelty and Greed
Lured by easy money and easy prey, organized gangs of poachers are killing entire elephant families and trading their tusks. Rangers trying to protect these precious elephants are often killed in the line of fire. The ivory trade, like blood diamonds, fuels conflict and strife. Elephants are killed by poachers so their tusks can be sold at a huge profit or traded for weapons and drugs by international criminal organizations before becoming trinkets and jewelry for consumers across Asia, Europe and North America.
Surprisingly, recent polls show that many people aren`t aware that an elephant has to die for a poacher to obtain its tusks. This is why public education on this issue is so important.
What You Can Do
Please don`t buy ivory - every piece of ivory comes from a dead elephant. We need to shut down the demand. If we don`t buy, they don`t die.
Please join the march for elephants. Here`s how:
- Sign our petition urging governments to uphold and enforce a complete ban on all trade in ivory. We must ensure that there are no loopholes that allow ivory to be sold legally (such as stockpile sales), and that countries step up their efforts to end illegal trade and protect all elephants from poaching.
- Visit our animal action web page today and learn about the many ways that young people can join the herd and help support our critical efforts.
- Spread the word - forward this email to your family and friends!
They say elephants never forget. It`s up to all of us to ensure that we don`t either. Thank you.
IFAW Honorary Board Member