Press Release: 08/12/2014

Oakland Zoo and 96 Elephants Launch Elephant-Sized Effort for World Elephant Day

Contact:
Nicky Mora, Senior Manager, Marketing/PR
(510) 632-9525 ext. 130
nmora@oaklandzoo.org


Oakland, CA, August 12, 2014…Oakland Zoo in partnership with the 96 Elephants campaign, is launching an elephant-sized effort to commemorate World Elephant Day on Tuesday, August 12.

As part of the World Elephant Day celebration, Oakland Zoo is part of a nationwide coalition of zoos throughout the United States that will send some 96,000 messages to U.S. public officials in support of a ban on the sale of ivory. More than 2,000 elephant drawings colored by Bay Area children were collected by Oakland Zoo; they will be delivered to Governor Jerry Brown’s office on August 12, 2014.

World Elephant Day is a day to experience elephants in non-exploitive and sustainable environments where elephants can thrive under care and protection both in the wild and captivity. Oakland Zoo staff and volunteers will be handing out ribbons at the elephant exhibit to commemorate this special day. Elephant Keepers will also be present to speak with guests about the ivory crisis and the impact on African elephants in the wild. “We will be raising awareness of both captive and conservation issues that surround elephants,” said Senior Elephant Manager, Gina Kinzley. “Guests will be able to see elephant artifacts up-close, including a seventy-five pound tusk, grey awareness ribbons will be given away, petitions against the ivory crisis can be signed, and visitors will have the opportunity to take an "elphie" in front of the elephant exhibit.” Zoo staff and volunteers will also be talking about the 96 elephants campaign and encouraging guests to take part in the Global March for Elephants on October 4th in San Francisco, which is a child friendly event.

On World Elephant Day, supporters will be asked to “Go Grey” by wearing a grey ribbon available at Oakland Zoo or simply wearing something grey. Participants can then take “elphies” with their Go Grey ribbons or hold signs of support and post images on social media using the hashtag #GoGrey. Several celebrities have already posted elphies including Alyssa Milano and Audra McDonald.

More than one hundred North American zoos are partners of 96 Elephants, which is focused on securing a moratorium on the sale of ivory in the U.S.; bolstering protection of African elephants; and educating the public about the link between ivory consumption and the elephant poaching crisis. State ivory bans have recently passed in New York and New Jersey and are awaiting signatures by their respective governors. Earlier this year, the Obama Administration proposed a sweeping federal ivory ban, which was a major accomplishment. This action is currently under fire in congress from anti-ivory ban groups and it is important that lawmakers are reminded that a ban is needed to allow the species to recover.

96 Elephants is organizing a “Thunderclap” where people can sign up on Twitter for a simultaneous Tweet on World Elephant Day. During the day, @TheWCS and @96Elephants will tweet out 96 facts about elephants (one every 15 minutes). To learn more about 96 Elephants and World Elephant Day, visit: 96elephants.org\WED

DoSomething.org, an organization of 2.5 million young people working for social change, will launch “Justice for Elephants Campaign” on World Elephant Day asking young adults to create messages with cut out elephant tusks and send them in batches of legislators.

The Hard Rock Cafe has partnered with 96 Elephants and has created a collectable 96 Elephants pin for World Elephant Day with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the campaign to stop the slaughter of elephants for their ivory. In 43 cities across the country, Hard Rock Café is selling the pin and providing their guests a chance to participate in the campaign and be a voice for elephants.

96 ELEPHANTS:
96 Elephants was named for the number of elephants gunned down each day for their ivory. 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.

WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY (WCS):
MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. For more details, go to www.wcs.org

ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO:

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.

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