An appeal from Care for the Wild asks families in UK to vow against ivory trade

The charity called Care for the Wild, which works for the conservation of wildlife, has given a clarion call to kids and families in THE UK asking them to save elephants in Africa that are being killed for illegal ivory trade. Kids around the country are raising funds to help against illegal poaching of wild elephants for their tusks.

Wildlife and conservation charity Care for the Wild has launched a new campaign inviting children to become Tooth Fairy Heroes and help save the elephants.

Championed by Care for the Wild’s CEO, Philip Mansbridge, the Tooth Fairy campaign has been designed to raise awareness of the global problem of elephant poaching among families, and introduce the issue to a younger audience:

“Today, the illegal wildlife trade is worth in excess of $10 billion annually and the surging demand for ivory from the rapidly growing economies of China, Vietnam and across Asia resulted in more than 25,000 elephants being killed in Africa in 2012, or one every 20 minutes.”

Amid growing concern for the worsening situation in Africa – and having called on G8 leaders to commit foreign aid to the fight against elephant poaching as a matter of urgency in June of this year – Care for the Wild has launched the Tooth Fairy campaign with the aim of raising the funds necessary to continue and expand the charity’s own work.

“The work of Care for the Wild’s anti-poaching teams is hard, emotional, dangerous and tiring, and we believe that it’s important for children to be made aware of the reality of their crucial work.  To connect the story and tradition of the Tooth Fairy – a tradition that millions of children in the UK engage with each year – to the plight of elephants seemed a very natural way to reach out to supporters. By concentrating on delivering a thought provoking online experience, building the campaign around a much loved character and focusing on such a simple act of kindness, hopefully we can not only raise funds, but educate children of the issues at an earlier age, and inspire the next generation of supporters to save the elephants,” added Mansbridge.

Heralding the problem of elephant poaching as one that runs much deeper than the destruction of the species, Care for the Wild warns that it is increasingly intertwined with growing poverty, ethnic rivalry, terrorism and civil war in affected countries. Around 1,000 rangers have died protecting elephants in just the past ten years, but the human cost goes beyond the national parks. Recent reports claimed that ‘warlord’ Joseph Kony had ordered the killing of elephants to fund his rebel army. Earlier this year, the United Nations recognised wildlife crime as ‘serious transnational organised crime’, in the same bracket as the drugs trade and gun smuggling

As part of the charity’s work to protect the elephant population, Care for the Wild is involved in many projects across Africa including carrying out anti-poaching patrols supported by armed rangers across notorious poaching hotspots. By recruiting team members from local tribesmen – including those from the colourful Maasai tribe – Care for the Wild encourages support from local people, strengthening the effectiveness and legacy of the charity’s work.

“Whether children go online with parents to pledge their donations, engage with us on Twitter or Facebook, or pick up one of the little Tooth Fairy bags that are being very kindly handed out across the UK at various locations, we hope that they enjoy the experience, connect with the work that we do, and begin to feel part of – and feel strongly about – the fight against elephant poaching and the illegal trade in ivory,” concluded Mansbridge.

To find out more about Care for the Wild’s Tooth Fairy campaign please visit the website and keep up to date with the campaign here, and on the charity’s Twitter feed @careforthewild and its Facebook page.