As elephant poaching continues to claim lives in the hunt for ivory, the pachyderms are facing a major crisis. I’m talking about an extinction in twelve years kind of crisis. It makes you wonder why this show ever aired, doesn’t it?
With elephants facing extinction, big name advocates have joined organizations in the campaign to save them, including Kristin Davis, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Hillary and Chelsea Clinton. As the world hopefully turns its attention to the poaching of elephants, New York eco-artist Asher Jay is helping to shine a brighter light on the issue.
Jay teamed up with grassroots group March for Elephants to bring poaching awareness to Times Square on a crowd-funded billboard hosted by LoudSauce Inc., featuring her elephant art. Jay told us in an email, “We live in a generation where mainstream visual marketing is the language of the masses, and well placed ad campaigns reformat and contour cultural consciousness. This is why, as a cause-driven propaganda artist with a fixation for ecological and social issues, I felt compelled to get involved with the Elephant in Times Square campaign by March For Elephants. When they contacted me from San Francisco with the grand idea of conceptualizing and designing a billboard in Times Square, New York to raise awareness about the slaughter of elephants in Africa for the global Ivory Trade, I was only all too eager to get on board!”
Conservationists report that an elephant is killed every 15 minutes, the same interval at which the billboard ad will run. She adds, “This billboard will have an audience of at least 350,000 a day, as it runs every 15 minutes, 24/7 for a month – until October 30th 2013. From SF to NYC, coast to coast, this internationally crowd funded initiative is clear evidence that we are all in this together, to help save this keystone species for future generations to encounter in the wild.”
March for Elephants says that the billboard unveiled yesterday on Broadway between 46th and 47th Street above the McDonald’s logo “will tell the story of Earth’s last remaining wild elephants who are on their way to extinction.” They add, “The billboard will warn us that unless we come together to act passionately, cohesively and determinedly to halt the massacre of our most charismatic terrestrial herbivore, it will disappear from our planet in less than 10 years. Our advocacy campaigns aims to revise international, national and state laws that permit the importation, sale and trade in ivory, a practice that is predicted to lead to the extinction of the species in the wild in less than 10 years.”
As Jay says in her artwork, “Ivory lasts forever…So does extinction.”
See more photos of the billboard’s unveiling below, and more campaign art below. For more information about the March for Elephants campaign, visit MarchforElephants.org or TheElephantInTimesSquare.org/.