Ellen Page has drawn an elephant in support of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Fund. Her artwork will be auctioned and bids will start from $50. The money raised will help to foster a rhino and an orphaned baby elephant. Photo courtesy of @fwillick.
Led by a giant elephant puppet, a bagpiper and a trombonist, about 70 people marched in downtown Halifax on Saturday to protest the ivory and rhino horn trade.
The march coincided with similar events taking place in more than 130 cities around the world to raise awareness of poaching.
Event organizer Linda Corkum said she was spurred to join the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos after learning about the ivory and rhino horn trade and the threat it poses to the animals.
“It really touched me. The pictures of the elephants slaughtered for their tusks, I saw those and I thought, ‘I have to do something.’ It’s got to stop. The more people that are aware of it, the better the chances are that we can stop it.”
According to literature distributed by protesters, four elephants are killed every hour and three rhinos are slaughtered each year in Africa. The ivory tusks of elephants are used to make decorative objects and rhino horns are used as a treatment for cancer, colds and hangovers and also as a party drug.
“It’s just such a useless thing, to reduce a beautiful animal to a chopstick,” Corkum said. “Anything made from ivory is a totally useless thing. It’s vanity.”
Tatiana Neklioudova attended the protest holding a large plush elephant. She said she’s an animal lover and even sponsors two baby elephants through a wildlife trust.
“Elephants are gentle animals and they’ve been treated very badly for centuries,” Neklioudova said. “And soon, they will disappear from Earth. We think poaching should stop.”
Protesters marched around Halifax’s Public Gardens behind the elephant puppet, with the trombonist providing elephant-like sound effects. The accompanying bagpiper was playing on an instrument that did not include ivory parts.
A silent auction of elephant-related artwork included a drawing by Haligonian actress Ellen Page. Proceeds from the auction were to go to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to help foster a rhino and an orphaned baby elephant.
Protesters also circulated a petition to call on Ottawa to support anti-poaching efforts in Africa and to destroy Canada’s stockpile of confiscated ivory items to help enforce the message that ivory is not a legitimate consumer product.