Leonardo DiCaprio helped unveil the new World Wildlife Fund campaign “Hands Off My Parts”, working to end the illegal trade of wildlife.
The environmentalist and WWF board member hopes to use his voice and star power to help bring awareness to the issue, and get people to sign a petition asking Thailand to ban the trade of ivory.
DiCaprio wrote in an email to WWF supporters, “Illegal wildlife trade is the most urgent threat facing species like tigers, rhinos and elephants. These animals are being killed every day to feed an escalating demand for their body parts. Whole populations are at risk of being wiped out if we don’t take immediate action to shut down this illicit trade. As a key step, I am joining WWF and others calling on Thailand’s government to show leadership on elephant conservation by shutting down its ivory market before the country hosts a meeting of 177 nations on wildlife trade in March 2013.”
According to the WWF, “Tens of thousands of elephants are being poached every year for their ivory. Thailand is home to the biggest unregulated ivory market in the world. Exploiting a legal loophole that permits the sale of ivory from Thailand’s domesticated elephants, criminals are getting away with selling massive amounts of illegally poached African ivory alongside legal ivory in the country.”
DiCaprio has been a longtime advocate for animals and the environment. He’s previously spoken out to defend tigers, the Antarctic waters which are home to millions of creatures, elephants and so many more.