Elephants are amazing animals. They have long-term memories, a complex social structure, and deep family ties. They grieve for their dead, and they have clearly exhibited empathy – even for other speices – time and again. But poaching for ivory, trophy hunting, and habitat destruction have reduced their numbers drastically.
In 2014, President Obama banned the importation of elephant body parts as “trophies” due to the extreme threats that the species faces. But now, his successor, President Trump, has reversed it – effectively encouraging trophy hunters from the U.S. to go out and hunt these incredible and vulnerable animals.
But President Trump is not the only celebrity to make use of Twitter and social media, and one of the biggest stars out there is taking a stand on behalf of elephants around the world. Ellen Degeneres has announced that for every person who retweets an elephant image using the hashtag #BeKindToElephants, she will make a donation to the David Dheldrick Wildlife Trust. The trust works hard to rescue and rehabilitate orphaned elephants in east Africa, and has hand-raised more than 150 calves so far.
Retweeting Ellen’s message is just one of many ways to help these incredible animals in their struggle to survive. But it’s easy, it only takes a moment, and if enough of us speak out together, maybe we’ll be heard by others in our government. Maybe they’ll realize that the American people want to protect elephants, not sanction hunters who would kill them for grisly “trophies.” We have to try.
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