ANGELES - August 8 - Drivers along Los Angeles' famous Sunset Boulevard may be
surprised tomorrow to see a herd of African elephants looking down on them from
a massive 18' by 48' billboard, as seen through the gun sights of ivory poachers,
with the message: "Stop the Slaughter! www.ifaw.org." The hard-hitting
imagery of the billboard heralds the launch of a major new international campaign
to protect elephants from the ivory trade by the International Fund for Animal
Welfare (IFAW -- (http://www.ifaw.org), the world's leading animal welfare organization.
"It's ironic that this billboard is on Sunset Boulevard because the sun
may be setting on the future of the African elephants. We need to act now to save
them," said IFAW President Fred O'Regan. Five Southern African countries
have announced plans to sell thousands of pounds of ivory in one-off stockpile
sales, as well as the yearly sale of additional elephant ivory. Some nations have
even gone so far as to call for the legal sale of elephant skins and meat. "Half
of Africa's elephants were slaughtered for their ivory in the 1980s and early
'90s," said O'Regan, "We cannot allow this to happen again. We are calling
on the public to visit ifaw.org, where they can send protest postcards to these
Some of IFAW's most influential supporters in Los Angeles and New York donated
the billboard space, design and related creative elements. "We're thrilled
to be a part of this campaign," said Brian Kennedy, president of Regency
Outdoor, which donated the billboard space. "We hope this message will encourage
residents and visitors to Los Angeles to take a moment and consider what each
of us can do to help out."
"We're privileged to be involved," said Michael Burns, vice chairman,
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., and a key leader of the IFAW effort. "This
is about each of us stepping forward and doing what we can to ensure that future
generations have the chance to see these majestic creatures in the wild, not just
in zoos and picture books."
The billboard will remain at Sunset Boulevard and Horn Avenue for the month
of August. IFAW plans further campaign events in Los Angeles and internationally
over the next several months, through its 13 country offices. "This issue
is a global one," said O'Regan, "and so is the IFAW campaign."
For further information on IFAW and how you can join this important campaign to
protect elephants go to http://www.ifaw.org.
Editors: For access to still images, video and more information on IFAW's global
elephant campaign visit http://www.ifaw.org