WCS Earth Day Moment of Zen: 96 Seconds of Baby Elephants: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0vlyq3yH1g&feature=youtu.be

Instagram Version of shows 9.6 seconds: http://instagram.com/p/nGF_YOmI3E/

Footage includes elephants playing in an orphanage in Kenya, protected from poacher’s guns

96 Elephants are killed every day in Africa

NEW YORK (Earth Day, April 22, 2013) —
The Wildlife Conservation Society’s 96 elephants campaign today released exactly 96 seconds of video footage of playful baby elephants to celebrate Earth Day – and to draw attention to the fact that 96 elephants are killed every day in Africa by poachers.

The footage includes five orphaned elephants mugging for the camera in the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) Elephant & Rhino Orphanage in Nairobi. Sadly, these elephant’s parents were shot by ivory poachers. The other footage shows wild elephants at the Mpala Research Centre in Kenya. An Instagram version is also available that clocks in at 9.6 seconds: http://instagram.com

“This footage is bittersweet; on one hand it shows baby elephants as they should be – care-free and playing. But it is heartbreaking to know that some of these elephant’s parents were slaughtered for the ivory trade,” said John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and Director of WCS’s 96 Elephants campaign. “We are hoping this footage will help raise awareness about the real toll of elephant poaching.”

96 Elephants was named for the number of elephants gunned down each day for their ivory. The Wildlife Conservation Society launched the campaign in September in support of the Clinton Global Initiative’s (CGI) Partnership to Save Africa’s Elephants to stop the killing, stop the trafficking and stop the demand for ivory.

WCS thanks Angela Sheldrick of DSWT and WCS field biologist Margaret Kinnard for helping arrange these shoots. DSWT is a member of the CGI partnership and has committed to help stop the killing through increased monitoring and anti-poaching surveillance in Tsavo East National Park.

To support the 96 Elephants campaign, WCS’s Bronx Zoo is hosting the 6th annual WCS Run for the Wild on Saturday, April 26. For more information, please go to: www.wcsrunforthewild.org .

96 Elephants include 139 partners representing 42 states. Partners include more than 100 North American zoos and aquariums, along with the Bodhi Tree Foundation, DD&B Worldwide, Enough Project, ESRI, Horizon Media, Hotel Plaza Athanee, Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Organization of Young Citizens of Guinea, The Resolve: LRA Crisis Initiative, Invisible Children and Tsavo Trust.

The campaign has already achieved success with the recent announcement by the Obama administration of a federal ban on most ivory sales. The campaign’s next steps are to pass state moratoria and close loopholes that would allow ivory to continue to be traded, as well as work with other nations on moratoria. New York State has already introduced legislation to ban the sale of ivory. The public overwhelmingly supports banning ivory sales. A recent independent survey in New York State shows that 80 percent or voters support a ban of ivory.

96 Elephants and its growing coalition of partners are driving action on behalf of saving elephants. 96 Elephants educates and engages the public through a series of activities including online petitions and letter writing campaigns enhanced through social media.

To learn more about the elephant crisis and how to help eradicate the demand for ivory, visit www.96elephants.org .

Stephen Sautner, 718-220-3682; ssautner@wcs.org
Max Pulsinelli, 718-220-5182; mpulsinelli@wcs.org
The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth. Visit www.wcs.org.

96 Elephants
WCS is leading global efforts to save Africa’s elephants and end the current poaching and ivory trafficking crisis. In September, WCS launched its 96 Elephants campaign www.96elephants.org to amplify and support the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) “Partnership to Save Africa’s Elephants” by stopping the killing, stopping the trafficking, and stopping the demand. The WCS campaign focuses on: securing effective moratoria on domestic sales of ivory; bolstering elephant protection; and educating the public about the link between ivory consumption and the elephant poaching crisis.