Today, there are fewer than 50,000 elephants left in Asia and between 400,000 and 660,000 in Africa. Courtesy At-Bristol
The At-Bristol science centre is working with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to promote an ivory amnesty.
At-Bristol will be collecting unwanted ivory from the public on behalf of IFAW and displaying the charity’s hourglass filled with ground-down ivory. The display is aimed at to remind people of the continuing trade in ivory and the imminent danger it presents to elephants.
“Most people think that elephants are now out of danger, but nothing could be further from the truth,” said IFAW’s Wildlife Trade Campaigner Nikki Kelly. “People must stop buying ivory if we are to stop the demand and safeguard the future of these magnificent animals.”
The hourglass is filled with ground-up ivory received in the amnesty. Courtesy At-Bristol
The Bristol science centre has been working with several organisations to raise awareness of wildlife conservation issues and its Wildwalk section examines the impact of human actions on the natural world.
Marie Orchard, manager of At-Bristol’s Wildwalk exhibition said: “We are really pleased to collaborate with IFAW on their ivory campaign, especially as the People and the Planet gallery in Wildwalk tells a similar message about human impacts on the planet and how we work towards a more sustainable future.”
A poached elephant. Courtesy At-Bristol
Bristol was an important port in the 16th to 19th century ivory market with slave ships also carrying the tusks from West Africa to the UK via the Caribbean. A 2004 IFAW study revealed that although the international ivory trade has been banned since 1989, Britain still has a thriving trade in ivory and plays a leading role in its supply to the US.
The hourglass, already containing the remains of some 700 pieces of ivory, will be displayed at the Wildwalk foyer until December 2006 and members of the public who wish to donate ivory to add to it can do so at the exhibition’s information desk.