Join Ivory Crush protest against elephant products
MAROOCHYDORE resident Sharon Pincott is calling on anyone who owns ivory or rhino horn products to surrender them as part of a national protest.
Sharon says the world's largest land mammal is in trouble because one elephant is being killed for its ivory every 15 minutes in Africa.
She has seen elephant carnage first-hand, having spent 13 years doing full-time voluntary work with wild elephants just outside Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, before having little choice but to flee the country in 2014.
In 2016, Sharon released her 5th book, titled Elephant Dawn, which shows just how incredible wild elephants are, and how horribly persecuted they can be.
"Just like us, elephants form life-long bonds, and can live into their 60s and 70s," she said.
"It's nothing short of catastrophic when one of their family members is slaughtered for ivory. Elephants are such intelligent beings.
"I've witnessed them mourning, just as we do. I've seen how death and despair tears elephant families apart."
Although Australia hasn't allowed the import of ivory for a very long time, the domestic trade in ivory is still legal here.
"This means that ivory already in Australia can - and is - still traded," Sharon said.
"It's time for us to send a clear message to the world that Australians are better than that. Every ivory ornament and trinket that one owns represents a dead elephant.
Owning a piece of ivory - no matter how small - given our heightened knowledge about elephants today, has become simply unacceptable."
Sharon will fly from the Sunshine Coast to Melbourne for World Wildlife Day on March 3 for Australia's first historic Ivory Crush. At 1pm in the Bourke Street Mall, she will join others to watch and participate as surrendered ivory and rhino horn are publicly destroyed.
"People may well have ivory items from years past, when the awful ramifications of owning ivory were not well-known nor properly understood," Sharon said.
"If you'd like to now do the right thing, I'd be delighted to carry your ivory and any rhino horn items to Melbourne with me to be destroyed in this public display of empathy, compassion and increased awareness."
This historic event has been organised by Melbourne-based not-for-profit group For the Love of Wildlife.
Its ambassador is internationally acclaimed designer Collette Dinnigan, with legendary celebrities such as John Farnham and world-renowned conservationist Jane Goodall also adding their voices to this campaign.
To the surprise of many, even China - previously one of the world's largest ivory markets, where ivory carving was a huge part of its culture - closed its ivory markets in January this year. Wildlife conservationists agree this was a huge step forward for elephants.
If you have elephant ivory or rhino horn products that you'd like to surrender, contact Sharon before March 1 at http://www.facebook.com/ElephantDawn and by email via the Contact section on www.sharonpincott.com