Lupita Nyong’o, Sauti Sol and Caroline Mutoko launched an anti-poaching campaign in Kenya on 27th April.
This came days before the government of Kenya led by President Uhuru Kenyatta burned the largest amount of Ivory in Kenya’s history in a bid to prove that Elephant tusks are useless if they are not being worn by the Elephants.
The anti-poaching campaign which is named “Hearts and Minds” is led by the African Wildlife Foundation and WildAid’s “Poaching Steals From Us All” campaign. The anti-poaching campaign uses public service announcements, documentary shorts, billboards and social media to urge support for conservation and reporting of wildlife crime. With an initial focus on elephants, the campaign will grow to cover other threatened species, such as lions, rhinos and vultures.
“Many of us know about the poaching crisis, but too many assume that someone else — the government or a conservation group — will take care of it,” said Daudi Sumba, Vice President of Program Design for AWF.
“If we lose our elephants and other wildlife to this threat, it will not be because we lacked the knowledge or tools to save them, but because we all failed to take ownership of our wildlife heritage. None of us can afford to be bystanders when so much is at stake.”
The Kenyan government had banned poaching about 25 years ago but the atrocity is still committed today as the Ivories are heavily demanded in Asia for the creation of ornaments, local medicines, among others.
This has caused a gross reduction in the elephant population from over 160,000 in the 1970s to about 35,000 now. However this has not deterred the Kenyan government or the Kenyan Wildlife Service and its partners in their anti-poaching campaign.
Wild Aid has published two videos of pop band Sauti Sol, and radio presenter Caroline Mutoko condemning elephant poaching and also a video of Oscar-award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o during her trip to an elephant orphanage in Kenya, last year.