“Sex and the City’s” Kristin Davis: “Ivory is Basically a Blood Diamond”

by , 10/04/12   filed under: Animal Cruelty, Eco-Celebrities

Kirstin Davis, ivory, blood diamonds, diamonds, animal cruelty, animal welfare, animal rights, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, wildlife conservation, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, elephants

Photo by s_bukley/Shutterstock

Kristin Davis isn’t just saying no to ivory, she’s taken to calling it the “new blood diamond.” The actress, best known for playing Charlotte Goldenblatt (née York) on HBO’s Sex and the City, became the very public face of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust on Friday when she hosted a black-tie dinner in London to fete the charity’s new anti-ivory campaign. The story of how she came to be involved in wildlife conservation is worthy of its own television special. Davis was holidaying in Kenya in 2010 when a Masaai elder waved down her truck to solicit help in locating a lost baby elephant.

Kirstin Davis, ivory, blood diamonds, diamonds, animal cruelty, animal welfare, animal rights, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, wildlife conservation, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, elephants

Photo by Shutterstock

IWORRY

After two days of searching, the rescuers came upon the animal, later named Chaimu after the lava rocks where she was found. “She kept trying to charge us, she was so traumatized and angry,” David told the Guardian. “We had to cover her eyes and tie her feet, you feel so horrible but you know you’re helping them, and wet her skin down because she was so hot. She had been eating dirt so her digestive system was all messed up, and you can’t feed them water when they are lying down in case it gets in their lungs so eventually we had to get her up and un-blindfold her so she could drink with her trunk in the proper way, and then we had to carry her on a people stretcher which was kind of hysterical.”

“Ivory is basically a blood diamond,” Davis said. “If you buy it, you’re buying the new blood diamonds.”

Placed in the care of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Chiamu found a new home at the Tsavo National Park. The experience left an indelible impression on Davis, who became a patron of Trust soon after.

Elephant poaching in Africa, once thought to be on the downswing, is rapidly approaching the worst levels since the 1980s. The underground ivory trade has increasingly become militarized, according to the New York Times, wiping out tens of thousands of elephants a year and filling the coffers of some of Africa’s most infamous armed groups, including the People’s Liberation Army in Sudan, the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, and Janjaweed raiders in Darfur. Organized crime syndicates link up with them to move ivory around the world, mostly to China, where the price of ivory can exceed $1,000 per pound on the streets of Beijing.

“Ivory is basically a blood diamond,” Davis said. “If you buy it, you’re buying the new blood diamonds.”

The Trust’s “iWorry: Say No to Ivory” campaign aims to change this by persuading the 2013 meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, better known as CITES, to prevent African governments from profiting from elephant tusks.

Davis is already planning her 14-month-old daughter’s first trip to Kenya. “I figure if I’m going to mess her sleep up it should be for something really good. Kids go to the nursery all the time and they love it,” she said. “Little elephants are so cute and they play soccer, and they get in the mud.”

+ iWorry: Say No to Ivory

+ David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

[Via Guardian]

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2 Responses to ““Sex and the City’s” Kristin Davis: “Ivory is Basically a Blood Diamond””

  1. Brulee says:

    It is good to find that a fashion site is highlighting poaching,an important animal issue. With celebrities like some in the Trump family playing an active role in the destruction of wildlife the conservation rather than the relegation to the environmental dustbin should be promoted. ‘Traditional’ medicine for Chinese market, of which reputable Chinese medics are against and realise that it is based on superstition rather than fact.

    The online site Wildlife Extra and In Defense of Animals as well as Born Free expand on the poaching issue.

    “Donald Trump Junior elephant hunt.
    March 2012. The story that Wildlife Extra ran last week about Donald Trump Junior and his brother Eric shooting an elephant a leopard, a crocodile and various other animals on a hunting trip in Zimbabwe has stirred up a real hornets’ nest. The story has reappeared all over the world, and created heated debates and much revulsion as well as some support for the Trump brothers. (One thing that is noticeable is the Wildlife Extra is virtually never credited, which is disappointing).

    The Trumps have defended their actions, but the huge groundswell of ill feeling that they have generated has now been joined by some concrete action in some quarters, with US firm ‘Camping World’ pulling their sponsorship from Donald Trump’s ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ TV show. Several thousand people have tweeted their feelings (see Twitter) with many people threatening to boycott Trump businesses. ”

    From IDA’s report on poaching:

    “The rate of killing and wounding is accelerating. Already in January and February 2009, four elephants have been wounded, one of which, a large adult male, died and had his tusks chopped out. (The photo is of this male, who we fear is a well-known bull named Ezra.) Several more adult females are missing.

    Only two years ago we saw only spear wounds and a few possible bullet wounds, but now we are seeing far more poison arrow wounds and this change is very disturbing. We believe the poison being used is Akocanthera, a deadly toxin made from a common bush found in Kenya. This poison was used by the famous Waliangulu elephant hunters who lived in the Tsavo area. The toxin is frighteningly effective and there is no antidote. An elephant shot with an arrow smeared with this poison dies a long, agonizing death. We are seeing these elephants dying in this way now. Just last week the Kenya Wildlife Service vet came to Amboseli to treat two injured elephants. One was Seamus who was found by our scouts barely able to walk. The vet saw him and said there was no hope and that he would have to be shot. The second elephant, a stranger, probably from Tsavo, was treated for a spear wound and will probably survive.

    Ivory Trade
    Through our thirteen Maasai research scouts and also through the Amboseli-Tsavo Group Ranch Association anti-poaching scouts we have learned that there are people buying tusks for 3000/- ($38) per kilo and selling it on for 5000/- ($64) per kilo across the border in Tanzania.

    We have also been told that the poachers are using crop raiding as an excuse for killing elephants. They wait for the elephants to come near the farms, spear them or shoot them with poison arrows, and then track them for hours or even days hoping they will die before the incident is reported to the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). Once the elephant is dead they chop out the tusks. These activities are occurring in the eastern and southern parts of the ecosystem and the trade is going on near and across the border.

    Other ivory trade points have also been reported to us. There are two Chinese road camps in the general area: one working near Emali and the other on the Namanga Road. We have been told by our informants that they are buying ivory, bush meat and dogs.”

  2. fairtradedesigns says:

    One of the main reasons I sell tagua, “vegetable ivory”, jewelry on my web site is the indiscriminate poaching of elephants for their tusks. Tagua is the easily renewable seed of a rainforest palm tree with the same feel, durability,and carving characteristics of elephant ivory. Only difference is elephants aren’t killed to create the end product.

    If killing elephants won’t keep us from buying ivory products, the image of all the baby elephant orphans marching behind one another in the video should.

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