Earlier this year, Arnold Schwarzenegger was invited by 96 Elephants to crush ivory in New York City, but he was unable to make it. Fulfilling his promise to help, he has now made a short video telling people:
‘Stop killing 96 elephants every day just because of this ivory; let’s get rid of the demand once and for all,’
before blowing up a piece of ivory.
Schwarzenegger, or the “Terminator” as most people know him, recently joined the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) anti-poaching campaign, 96 Elephants, which is aiming to raise awareness of illegal ivory poaching, which kills 96 African elephants each day.
The actor and former California governor is a strong supporter of the cause, tweeting:
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) June 19, 2015
WCS is trying to gain support for tightening restrictions on the commercial ivory trade in the U.S., which is the world’s second largest ivory market after China. What may seem surprising is that China imposed a one-year ban on ivory imports, where the U.S. is struggling to come up with any meaningful restriction. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed limits on ivory sales that were backed by WCS. But the proposal has met with opposition by entities like the National Rifle Association and a rider to a House Interior Appropriations Bill, with WCS saying it would “undermine efforts by the FWS to curtail the illegal trade of ivory in the United States.”
John Calvelli, director of 96 Elephants, said in a statement: “We are extremely grateful Arnold Schwarzenegger has joined the 96 Elephants campaign, and we are hopeful that his global following of fans will become allies to stop the killing, stop the trafficking, and stop the demand of ivory.”
The elephant tusk used in the campaign video is one of the many recent public displays of destroying illegal ivory. According to the WCS, eight countries, including China, the U.S., and several African countries, have publicly destroyed more than 42 tons of illegal ivory this year.
96 Elephants has quite a network of partnerships — 225 organizations in total, which also includes more than 125 members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums — all working together to raise awareness in the media and with the public policy makers.