By: Nesa Nourmohammadi
It is estimated an elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its ivory, according to Save the Elephants. There are less than 400,000 African elephants today, a noticeable decline from the 1.3 million found in 1979. At this rate, the species is on track to become extinct in the next 10 to 20 years, according to China’s Southern Weekend newspaper.
Even though the commercial trading of African elephant ivory was outlawed internationally in 1989, it can still be found in parts of the world, like China, the world’s largest consumer of illegal ivory.
Chinese actress Li Bingbing is a superstar that is using her celebrity to raise awareness about elephant poaching in her country. In celebration of the inaugural World Wildlife Day, Li, a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Goodwill Ambassador, traveled to Kenya to learn about African elephants and poaching. Her journey was documented in a short film found on YouTube (you can also watch the 6-minute Director’s Cut online):