Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — On Saturday, October 4, 2014 Oakland Zoo staff, volunteers, and zoo supporters will join forces with local grassroots organization, March For Elephants, in a march to raise public awareness about the ivory crisis and the thousands of African elephants and rhinos that are dying each year in the name of ivory. The march will take place in San Francisco at 10:30am in Saint Mary’s Square and will end with a rally at United Nations Plaza. The San Francisco march is part of a global march that includes more than 100 cities around the world marching on Saturday, October 4, World Animal Day.
According to the Wildlife Conservation Society, 96 elephants are being killed each day for their ivory tusks. A team of Bay Area elephant activists are taking action against extinction by inviting the public to join the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos and raise awareness about these animals before it is too late. Many conservationists say that if something isn’t done to stop the slaughter of elephants in Africa, these animals could become extinct within the next ten to fifteen years. Rhinos could be extinct in fifteen years or sooner.
“One elephant every fifteen minutes is killed for their ivory, and one rhino every nine hours for their horn,” said Gina Kinzley Lead Elephant Keeper at Oakland Zoo. “Wild elephants and rhinos are suffering at the hands of human greed every day. Elephants are intelligent, emotional, and socially complex unique individuals and we cannot be the generation to see them disappear from this planet. There is no justifying the ivory trade and it will take a global effort to end it. Please join Oakland Zoo in supporting the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos in San Francisco on October 4.”
A Rally follows the march and will include several speakers: Billy Dodson, Nature Photographer, Ed Stewart of PAWS, Jennifer Fearing of The Humane Society of the United States – California, Gini Cowell of Elephant Aware Masai Mara, Gina Kinzley of Oakland Zoo, Wayne Hsiung of Direct Action Everywhere, Pat Cuviello (advocate for animals in entertainment and captivity), Anjali Manghnani, and San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener. Musical guests Mayuka Thaïs and Soleil Dakota will also perform.
This event is part of an international effort to engage the public, educate, and grow awareness in regard to the elephant and rhino crisis. According to the San Francisco March for Elephants, China is responsible for 70% of the illegal ivory trade. However, the U.S. is the world’s second largest importer, and San Francisco’s Chinatown is one of the top places to buy ivory in the country. While there are state and federal laws that prohibit the import and sale of some types of ivory, there are multiple loopholes that make enforcement of those laws almost impossible.
ABOUT MARCH FOR ELEPHANTS – SAN FRANCISCO: MarchForElephants.org is a Bay Area-based non-profit whose mission is to advocate on behalf of Earth’s last elephants. The all-volunteer organization works on legislation, advocacy and awareness and partners with a range of other wildlife organizations and NGOs throughout the world.
MEDIA INQUIRIES Julie Callahan jcstars(at)earthlink(dot)net 408-981-4134 http://www.MarchForElephants.org https://twitter.com/march4elephants
ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO: Oakland Zoo is always outspoken when it comes to elephants. The Zoo is home to four African elephants, three females and one male. Their names are Donna, Lisa, M’Dunda, and Osh. More than six acres make up their expansive exhibit, which includes a swimming pool, trees, hills, and areas for dust bathing, which is a natural behavior among elephants. The elephants are managed with protected contact, meaning zookeepers and elephants do not share the same space; bull hooks are not used. The animals are never forced to do anything they do not want to do; instead, they are rewarded with treats for participating with foot care, morning routines, and health exams. Ten spreads (scattering of food throughout the exhibit) are done each day to encourage foraging and exercise. Truckloads of browse or tree branches are collected and donated from surrounding areas, to ensure the proper diet is given to the animals.
The Bay Area's award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid's activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Oakland Zoo is dedicated to wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks.
Contact: Nicky Mora, Senior Manager, Marketing/PR (510) 632-9525 ext. 130 nmora(at)oaklandzoo(dot)org