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Conservation charity WildAid are marking World Book Day and World Wildlife Day on March 3rd by releasing The Great Race, a children’s book that explains the plight of the African Elephant.
It is part of WildAid’s Year of the Elephant campaign, which aims to build on recent momentum and make 2016 the year more elephants are born than killed, and the year that the illegal ivory trade is shut down once and for all.
The Great Race – a children’s book and short animated film narrated by Sir Trevor MacDonald – is a twist on the ancient tale of the Chinese Zodiac, as told by elders at Chinese New Year.
The traditional story of the ‘great race’ to decide the twelve signs of the Zodiac has been reimagined to feature a new animal: an elephant, who needs our help now more than ever.
The Year of the Elephant campaign was launched last month to coincide with Chinese New Year. The world’s largest ivory market is in China, but the country has recently vowed to phase out commercial ivory sales, alongside the US and Hong Kong.
WildAid is calling for the worldwide closure of ivory markets and is asking these three countries to follow through with their pledges by providing a detailed timeline for the phasing out of commercial ivory sales.
To date, the campaign has received more than 325 million impressions on social media, helped by celebrities including Yoko Ono, Lupita Nyong’o, Ricky Gervais, Ellen DeGeneres, Leonardo Di Caprio, Jackie Chan, Sir Richard Branson and Arianna Huffington.
These celebrities have called on their fans to #JoinTheHerd and wish the world a Happy Year of the Elephant.
The campaign has been viewed more than 35 million times in China – the world’s largest ivory market – and went viral in Tanzania, the country most-affected by poaching, following a music video from African hip hop star Alikiba.