By Laura Sinpetru
If there is one thing conservationists who are looking to save elephants and rhinos from going extinct in the near future need to do, then this thing is convincing people to stop buying things made either from ivory or from rhino horn.
This is because, once there is no longer a demand for such products, poachers and illegal traders will no longer be able to make a profit by killing such animals and selling their body parts on the black market.
Consequently, they will have to pay a visit to an employment agency of their choice and embrace an entirely new career, preferably one that does not endanger natural ecosystems and the biodiversity that they accommodate for.
The good news is that conservationists do not stand alone when it comes to trying to curb the global demand for ivory and rhino horn and consequently putting an end to poaching activities.
On the contrary, several NBA (National Basketball Association) players have recently agreed to get behind the ongoing fight to save rhinos and elephants from extinction. Thus the video below was born.
According to EcoWatch, the footage features the following six NBA players, i.e. Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers, Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks, Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks, Serge Ibaka and Thabo Sefolosha of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls.
In the video, the athletes hold up photos showing images of elephants and rhinos, and stress the fact that one does not have to be working with a green-oriented organization to help keep such animals safe from poachers. All one has to do is refuse to buy elephant ivory and rhino horn, they say.
The footage is the result of a collaboration between NBA Cares, the National Basketball Association's global social responsibility program, and WildAid. It is dubbed “No Hype,” and it was released as part of the organization's “When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too” campaign.
Commenting on the NBA's decision to get involved in ongoing efforts to save elephants and rhinos, Al Horford said, “I don’t think that people realize the harm and the damage that is done to these great animals.” Furthermore, “We need to put an end to this. The only way to do it is by getting people to stop buying these products.”
Just to put things into perspective, it must be said that, last year, some 1,000 rhinos were killed by poachers in South Africa alone. As far as elephants are concerned, conservationists say that the death toll amounts to several thousand animals annually.