The illegal wildlife trade is now the fourth largest criminal industry after drugs, arms and trafficking. The high demand for these so-called ‘products’ is driven by a misplaced belief that ivory, such as rhino horns and elephant tusks are symbols of status and wealth. The decreasing populations of rhinos and elephants are only adding this misconception. They’re also commonly used in traditional Chinese medicines. These outdated practices (based on no scientific evidence) suggest that the horns contain healing elements. They’re actually made of Keratin, the same protein in our hair and nails.
Today, an elephant is killed every 15 minutes and it is estimated that only 25,000 rhinos remain in the wild. The world felt a loss with the recent death of Sudan, the last male northern white rhino, which was described as a cruel symbol of human disregard for nature. Any hope of preserving the White Rhinos depends on IVF techniques.
Worth more than £15 million per year, the ivory trade has a higher price tag than cocaine. It poses a risk to countless species, but also to international security, national sovereignties and rural communities. In most instances, the animals are tranquillised before their horns or tusks are hacked off. The animals return to consciousness, experience great pain then bleed to death. Young elephants and rhinos are orphaned and usually die within days of separation. The poachers are only becoming increasingly dangerous, equipped by the criminal networks who see the value of the trade.
WWF carry out essential conservation work to tackle the multiple threats facing these animals. They support the rangers in the field who work to protect threatened wildlife and help develop solutions to ensure the safe existence of these animals and the communities that surround them, as well as campaigning to governments to shut down the legal and illegal ivory markets. Where conservation supports people, people support conservation.
We’ve collaborated with artist Valentino Brunetti to create two designs that will enable us to build further awareness of the shocking actions of those working within the illegal ivory trade. From each sale of the product below, 25% of the profits will be donated to WWF, a leading charitable organisation who work cross-continently with governments and organisations to ensure that this will soon be a matter of history.