By Laura Sinpetru
American actor Woody Harrelson has recently teamed up with the Humane Society of the United States, and is now asking that the Aloha state take steps towards putting an end to its ivory trade sooner rather than later.
On its website, the Humane Society of the United States explains that, according to information at hand, Hawaii is currently the third largest ivory retailer in the United States, right behind New York and California.
This would not be such a big problem were ivory to grow on trees or on agricultural lands. The problem is that ivory comes from elephants, which happen to be an endangered species.
Thus, the Humane Society, together with Woody Harrelson, argues that Hawaii's ivory trade is fueling poaching activities in Africa. In doing so, it is helping bring elephants even closer to extinction. It is estimated that, under a business-as-usual scenario, these pachyderms will fall off the biodiversity map in about 12 years' time.
“No one needs ivory except for elephants. Up to 100 African elephants are brutally killed each day for their tusks. These highly intelligent keystone species are facing the greatest threat to their survival in history,” the actor said in a statement.
“Right now Hawaii has a chance to be a global leader in elephant conservation by ending the illegal ivory trade and setting an example for other states and nations to follow. The world is watching. It is within our power, and our responsibility, to end this cruelty by stopping the blood ivory trade,” he added.