Environmental campaigner and movie star Leonardo DiCaprio has been unveiled as the face of a new campaign to save the world’s elephant populations from exploitation by the continuing ivory trade.
The TAG Heuer Watches wearing actor has teamed up with the animal protection charity ‘International Fund for Animal Welfare to launch an initiative called ‘Elephants Never Forget’. The campaign focuses on the plight of the African elephants since the official ending of the trade during the late 1980’s.
Poachers kill elephants so their tusks can be traded for weapons and drugs by international criminal organisation. Many of the tusks end up as trinkets for consumers in poorly regulated markets in Asia.
There were 1.3 million elephants in 1979; rampant poaching and other factors have reduced that number by more than half, to an estimated 500,000 that remain today. The scope of the trade is global and authorities in 85 countries have seized almost 400 tons of ivory on the black market since the 1989 ivory trade ban came into force.
Reports also suggest that the black market price for ivory has increased by 100% in the last few years making it an increasingly lucrative trade, particularly in poorer areas of Africa where illegal poaching remains rampant.
Elephants are not the first animal to garner support from TAG Heuer Watches fan DiCaprio. Another animal suffering a severe decline in numbers is the tiger. Recently released figures have reported that the worldwide population has reduced to 3,200 from 100,000 a century ago. Last year, TAG Heuer Watches ambassador, DiCaprio was part of a 13-nation summit in Russia dedicated to saving tigers, personally donating one million dollars to help save the Asiatic animal.
The actor who wears a Carrera Calibre 16 Automatic Chronograph43 MMis currently in Australia filming Baz Luhrmann’s take on the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel ‘The Great Gatsby alongside Tobey Maguire.