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    Posted May 7, 2014 by

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    Leonardo DiCaprio and Jane Goodall Take a Stand Against the Ivory Trade

    With a troublesome economy and radical foreign affairs crowding the desks of policy makers, it would appear to be a waste of time to try grabbing the attention of the government with environmental issues that may not appear pressing, but are slowly creeping up on all of humanity. Lucky for us, Jane Goodall and Lenoardo DiCaprio are schooling everyone on how to hold our nation accountable in their recent Washington Post address to President Obama requesting an end to the ivory trade.

    The primatologist/actor team partnered with Dave Matthews, the African Wildlife Foundation, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Wildlife Conservation Society and World Wildlife Fund to take a stand against the intolerable poaching of elephants. The plight of the African elephant has reduced numbers to just 500,000 in the wild, decreasing one by one every fifteen minutes. The letter identifies “the US [as] the world’s second-largest market for wildlife products…[finding] significant amounts of illegal elephant ivory,” despite the administration’s stance against violence on elephants and the ivory trade.

    The capitol is no stranger to these complaints though. This last fall of 2013 marked the launch of Hillary Clinton’s own partnership with these same organizations to save the elephants, but she found an even more persuasive argument connecting the ivory trade to terrorist groups throughout Africa. Poachers fund the purchase of munitions for anti-government groups through the slaughter of elephants. Evidence even linked the illegal ivory trade to al-Shabaab, the group responsible for the tragic Nairobi Mall Incident from September of last year.

    Between the actions of a potential presidential candidate and the words of significant activists and celebrities, there may just be enough of a stir to capture the attention of the Obama administration. At least, that’s the hope, given the growing $17 billion dollar profit being made from the ivory trade that is tearing apart African ecology from the approximate 30,000 murders each year.

    It’s time America kept its promise, according to these activists. Taking a stand to make poachers take a bow is the only way to protect the African elephant.

    Written by Kelley Moody
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