DiCaprio joins effort to save elephants

Feb. 19, 2013 at 12:19 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- U.S. actor and director Leonardo DiCaprio has called on Thailand's prime minister to implement a total ban on the ivory trade in his country.

Speaking at the launch of a World Wildlife Fund campaign, DiCaprio called for an end to a trade that threatens the survival of African elephants, The Bangkok Post reported Tuesday.

"These animals are being killed every day to feed an escalating demand for their body parts," DiCaprio said. "Illegal wildlife trade is the most urgent threat facing species like tigers, rhinos and elephants."

He joined other actors and activists in calling on Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to ban the trading of ivory.

Criminals are selling massive amounts of illegally poached African ivory in Thailand by exploiting a legal loophole that permits the sale of ivory from domesticated Thai elephants, the World Wildlife Fund said

"I am joining WWF and others calling on Thailand's government to show leadership on elephant conservation by shutting down its ivory market before the country hosts a meeting of 177 nations on wildlife trade in March 2013," DiCaprio said.

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