In the 1970s and 1980s, there was a terrible epidemic of poaching in Africa. That’s when AWF did our “Only Elephants Should Wear Ivory” campaign, and we found a way to slam the brakes on this poaching.
“I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man...”
The above picture was taken by wildlife photographer Nick Brandt (Big Life Foundation), who, one year ago, photographed this elephant just 24 hours before she was brutally slaughtered by gun toting poachers for her ivory.
To spread the ivory ban idea as far as possible, I filmed a 12-min video introducing the history and impact of ivory trade, habits of elephants and my "Schools United for Elephants" campaign, in both English and Mandarin, directed by Miss Josefina Bergsten.
Elephants are the largest land animals, so it comes as a great surprise that for one species, we really don’t know that much. How can an animal so large be studied so little? Despite their size, African forest elephants are actually very difficult to see.
I recall, as a child, being taken to the circus and having an overwhelming feeling of sadness and empathy for the animals, particularly the elephants that were paraded for our entertainment.