Chinese Actress Li Bingbing Joins Fight Against Deadly Ivory Trade

Created: 2013-05-16 14:21 EST

Category: China

 Li Bingbing has played a lot of roles in her acting career. But what a lot of people haven’t seen, is her playing with elephants.

Best known for her role in Hollywood’s Resident Evil, Li Bingbing has taken on a new foe—the perpetrators of the ivory trade—as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environmental Programme 
Asia’s demand for ivory is killing African elephants at an alarming rate. And the biggest demand for these elephant tusks comes from Li’s home country, China.
 [Li Bing Bing, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador]:
“People in China, many of them have no idea that the ivory is actually connected to the blood ivory trade in Africa, so therefore I'd like to call on more people to take a stand on the issue and think twice before you purchase, perhaps to think about how this is going to impact the African elephants as well as the people who live in Africa."
Li said that she herself was once an ignorant consumer.
 [Li Bing Bing, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador]:
"Many years ago I bought a bracelet, made of ivory. But at that time I had no idea that it was made of ivory or that it was connected to the mass killing of African elephants.”
That killing has left these baby elephants orphaned. Luckily, they’ve been taken in by the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya.(SHOW HER PLAYING WITH ELEPHANTS AGAIN] But there are many more that are not so fortunate.
[Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP]:  
"We have made with member states of the UN, NGOs across the planet, individuals who care, we have made tremendous efforts. And we have also had tremendous successes. But what is happening at the moment simply exceeds imagination in our capacity to manage.”
That is why the UNEP, along with Wild Aid and Save the Elephants have partnered with Li to raise awareness.
According to WildAid, as many as 25,000 elephants are killed each year for the ivory trade. Li Bingbing hopes her star power can put a dent in those numbers.