PAWS Director of Science, Research & Advocacy
Performing Animal Welfare Society
and Amboseli Trust for Elephants
Join San Francisco March to Save Elephants
First U.S. elephant sanctuary and
world-renowned African conservation organization
aim to draw attention to illegal ivory trade
(San Andreas, Calif.) - The Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), which founded and operates the nation's first elephant sanctuary, and the Kenya-based Amboseli Trust for Elephants, which heads the world's longest-running study of African elephants, will be marching on Friday in San Francisco as part of an international effort to save wild elephants.
The March for Elephants will take place on Friday, October 4, starting at 11 a.m. at Portsmouth Square (733 Kearny Street), and ending at Union Square, followed by a noon rally. PAWS' co-founder and president, Ed Stewart, will be a featured speaker at the rally, where PAWS will host an information table.
"PAWS is taking part in this first-ever international event to raise public awareness about the dire situation for elephants in Africa, where one elephant is killed every 15 minutes for the illegal ivory trade," said Stewart. "It's time for the world to come together to end this crisis before we lose elephants forever. PAWS urges everyone to join us in the march and support this important event for the elephants."
It is estimated that 35,000 elephants are killed annually across Africa so their tusks can be carved into expensive statuettes and trinkets. Unless urgent action is taken to end the slaughter, conservationists predict that African elephants could disappear in as little as 10 years.
"Every day in Amboseli we battle the horrors of the ivory trade up close," said Betsy Swart, executive director of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, who will be attending the march. "Because of our constant vigilance, the Amboseli elephants are the least poached elephant population in Africa, but the pressure is building and we need help. We are losing beloved elephants and time is running out. We need the world to understand that no one needs ivory but elephants."
San Francisco is one of dozens of cities around the world hosting a march on October 4 to draw attention to the decimation of elephants for the illegal trade in ivory. Members of PAWS' staff, as well as board members, volunteers and supporters will be taking part in the march.
PAWS provides lifelong care for eight elephants, three of whom are African, at its 2,300-acre ARK 2000 sanctuary in San Andreas, California. All were rescued or retired from circuses and zoos. They are: African elephants Mara, Lulu and Maggie; female Asian elephants Wanda, Gypsy and Annie; and male Asian elephants Prince and Nicholas. PAWS is preparing to receive three more African elephants from a zoo next month.
PAWS will be marking a milestone anniversary in 2014: 30 years of protecting captive wildlife, providing lifetime sanctuary for rescued and retired animals, and advocating for those still in need.
For more information on PAWS' innovative programs and campaigns, please visit www.pawsweb.org.
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Founded in 1984, the Performing Animal Welfare Society operates three sanctuaries for captive wildlife in Northern California. The Galt, Herald, and San Andreas sanctuaries are home to more than 100 rescued and retired animals, including eight elephants, African lions, bears, tigers and other exotic animals. PAWS is licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. It is accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, and is rated a 4-star charity with Charity Navigator.
The Amboseli Trust for Elephants (ATE) aims to ensure the long-term conservation and welfare of Africa's elephants through scientific research, training, community outreach and public awareness. ATE's research arm, the Amboseli Elephant Research Project (AERP), is world-renowned for conducting the longest and most detailed study of free-living African savannah elephants. Now in its 40th year, AERP's work is vital to understanding and ensuring the future of elephants in the Amboseli ecosystem and across Africa. AERP lends a strong and authoritative voice to campaigns for managing and conserving elephants worldwide.