“Sex and the City” alum, Kristin Davis, is committed to raising money and bringing awareness to gruesome poaching in Africa.
Every 15 minutes, an African elephant is killed for its ivory tusks, which can be sold on the black market for $1000 a pound. At this rate, the elephants will be extinct in 12 years.
Their death is often brutal, as poachers attack them with poisoned arrows, spears, snares and guns.
Davis recounts an early experience with the reality of poaching:
“I helped rescue an orphaned baby elephant in 2009 on a visit to Kenya, and was fortunate to be able to take her to the woman who first had success raising orphaned elephants and returning them to the wild. Dame Daphne Sheldrick told me that the baby elephant we found could have been the victim of poachers who had killed her family. I thought to myself that poaching was illegal and maybe the Sheldricks were likely worried for no reason.”
Many elephants are killed inside of African National Parks, where they are supposed to be safe. However, the punishment for poaching has been historically light, making the reward for ivory far greater than the risk of getting caught. War lords, like Joseph Kony, often use their profits to fund other atrocities, such as rape and murder, as well as sex and drug trafficking.
Unfortunately, 2009 marked the beginning of what experts call a “tsunami” of poaching across Africa.
Davis describes a heart-breaking scene:
“When I was visiting the elephants in 2011, I saw sites where poachers had set a snare with electrical wire and then tied it to a tree near a watering hole. When a huge elephant got his leg stuck in the snare , he walked and walked around that tree creating a path of desperation while he slowly died. The poachers sat nearby, watching as they drank coffee around their campfire. When the elephant finally died, they used machetes to hack off his face and trunk in order to remove the deeply embedded tusks.”
In 2012 alone, over 30,000 elephants were killed illegally for their ivory, the largest number in two decades.
The actress pleads with people to act now before it’s too late.
“I have been with these incredibly gentle and intelligent animals and felt their love and wisdom. I am terrified that the elephants will be gone, lost to evil men who are wreaking havoc on our world. Everyone will say, ‘What happened?!’ And it will be too late. We need to act now to save these animals from man-made extinction.”
Davis is currently hosting a #STARTARYOT Challenge on crowdrise. Donate $15 to benefit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust by Aug. 30th at 11:59 EST and you will be entered for a chance to win a Kindle Paperwhite signed by the actress.
You can read a past article about Kristin Davis’ efforts to save the elephants here.