Wildlife crime has reached levels never seen before in WWF’s 50-year history. Rhinos, tigers, and elephants are being killed at alarming rates for their skins, bones, tusks, horns and other body parts.
Tens of thousands of elephants are being poached every year for their ivory. Thailand is home to the biggest unregulated ivory market in the world. Exploiting a legal loophole that permits the sale of ivory from Thailand’s domesticated elephants, criminals are getting away with selling massive amounts of illegally poached African ivory alongside legal ivory in the country.
In addition to raising awareness of this global crisis, the Hands Off My Parts initiative highlights what people can do to help, including spreading the word and signing a global petition calling on Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to ban all ivory trade in Thailand.
In support of this effort, DiCaprio sent a personal email to WWF supporters, celebrities and other influencers encouraging them to join the wildlife crime campaign and sign the petition.
“With knowledge comes the imperative to act,” said Carter Roberts, president & CEO of WWF. “This story needs to be told. We’re grateful to Leonardo DiCaprio and others for being the voice for animals who cannot speak for themselves.”
Other prominent voices joining this initiative include: Emily VanCamp, Josh Bowman, Stacy Keibler, Alyssa Milano, Ian Somerhalder, and Ethan Suplee.
“Hands Off My Parts” is the latest initiative in WWF’s global campaign to raise awareness about illicit wildlife trade as a serious crime with far-reaching implications for species and communities around the world.