The Association of Zoos and Aquariums has joined The Wildlife Conservation Society as a partner on the recently launched 96 Elephants Campaign – an effort focused on securing a U.S. moratorium on illegal ivory; bolstering protection of African elephants; and educating the public about the link between ivory consumption and the elephant poaching crisis.
96 Elephants was named for the number of elephants gunned down each day for their ivory. The Wildlife Conservation Society launched the campaign in September in support of the Clinton Global Initiative’s (CGI) commitment to end the crisis facing Africa’s elephants.
“In order to stop the killing, we need to stop the demand for ivory everywhere including the U.S.,” said John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs. “The partnership between WCS and AZA will bring together resources, experts, and institutions that will raise awareness of the crisis in Africa that will stop the killing, stop the trafficking, and stop the demand.”
Said Jim Breheny, WCS Executive Vice President and Director of the Bronx Zoo: “Zoogoers have a keen awareness of, and interest in, conservation. They will join the fight to protect wildlife in peril. By communicating this tragic story to the millions of people who visit AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums, we will be able to rally the public to help save elephants from the organized slaughter of the illegal ivory trade. This partnership will result in a formidable army that will champion these magnificent animals.”
AZA will partner with WCS’s 96 Elephants to help raise awareness and drive action on behalf of saving elephants. 96 Elephants educates and engages the public through a series of activities including online petitions and letter writing campaigns enhanced through social media.
Said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy: “The Association of Zoos and Aquariums is committed to partnering with the Wildlife Conservation Society on the 96 Elephants campaign. AZA-accredited zoos connect people with elephants and engage them in conservation issues that elephants face in their natural ranges, and this mission could not be more urgent as we work to combat poaching and the illegal ivory trade. Most importantly, through the 96 Elephants campaign, millions of zoo visitors can take action to stop the demand for ivory here in the United States and around the world.” More....