For a brief moment yesterday, Times Square stood still. Even the world's most famous cluster of dazzling super signs, towering over Broadway, could not compete with the simple message that on this day, we all stand for elephants.
In 2014, the U.S. made a bold move by suspending imports of elephant trophies taken from Tanzania and Zimbabwe, based on concerns about these countries' wildlife management practices. But an even bolder move is called for given the global elephant crisis.
The IFAW, the International Fund for Animal Welfare is dedicated to protecting and saving animal species around the world. The lifeblood of IFAW, and organizations like them, is getting their message out to the public.
In this modern day and age, saying that we have to kill something in order to save it is just no longer acceptable. There are ways to help communities in Africa living among (and, sometimes in conflict with) wildlife, that does not necessitate killing the animals.
I've been sitting here watching the debate on if it is logical, humane or in any way helpful for Corey Knowlton of the Dallas Safari Club to have paid $350,000.00 to get to kill one of the last rhinos on Earth... for conservation. Yes, FOR conservation. I find this very surreal.
Why the renewed concern, when elephants have been killed for their ivory for centuries? It's both because elephants are very near to being at the end of their rope and because nowadays, poaching is a far cry from being a poor man's means of feeding his family.
Needless killing of endangered species for trophies is inherently unsustainable, economically short-sighted, ecologically unsound, and morally wrong. The sooner it ends for lions and other imperiled animals, the better.
Recently, African lions took one step closer to receiving much-needed protections from trophy hunters still eager to kill them despite their dwindling numbers. Of even greater importance is the fact that this announcement opens the door for everyone who loves big cats to take action.
Because the world's most imperiled species are sometimes found in the world's most dangerous places, the combustible mix of focused altruism and local desperation can collide and result in horrific tragedy.
The birth of this baby Sumatran rhino is hopefully just the first of more to come -- injecting new genes, new life, and new hope into a species that many feared might never see another calf born again.
In recent years, human threats to endangered right whales have increased, and given their fragile population status, the loss of even one of these marine mammals can have a massive impact on the fate of the species.
If we don't make sure that today's young people enter adulthood with their eyes wide open to the importance of protecting our living planet, then we are all -- elephants, animals, ecosystems, people -- in deep trouble.