A hologram elephant will be roaming the streets of London this week, as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) attempts to raise awareness about animal trafficking and encourage the public to sign a petition to bring an end to illegal wildlife.
The campaign aims to surpass 100,000 signatures on its petition that calls on the British government to end illegal wildlife trafficking.
Despite growing awareness and concern over wildlife endangerment, wildlife trafficking is still a lucrative criminal global activity that continues to grow year-on-year.
In recent months several legislative moves have hindered the animal emancipation cause. After doubling its annual quote of lion bones exported for traditional Chinese medicine, South Africa caused a stir just last month by granting early release for a rhino trade kingpin; a worrying sign that there is still so much work to be done before animal trafficking is brought to an end.
In an attempt to overcome an ‘out of sight, out of mind' mentality, the WWF decided to bring endangered wildlife directly to London, in order to get the public to come face to face with reality.
Supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the WWF is releasing a majestic five-metre elephant hologram onto the streets of London this week.
Although a non-native elephant may seem out of place in the heart of London, the WWF wants the elephant to act as a stark reminder that this iconic species may become an even rarer sight around the world.
In addition to the hologram elephant, the WWF is designing a number of pedestrian crossings with prints of animals most affected by the trade, including marine turtles, snow leopards and tigers.
Each ‘animal’ crossing will confront pedestrians with a hard-hitting fact relevant to the featured endangered animal, in an attempt to educate the public on the unfortunate truths behind the plight of these particular species.
Other than London locations Battersea and Shoreditch, the animal crossing will also travel to the centre of Edinburgh, with more regional locations to be announced. The elephant will be roaming St Paul’s and the House of Parliament today, Abbey Road on Tuesday, the evening of 8 October, before heading over to the Truman Brewery in Shoreditch on Wednesday (10 October).
Tanya Steele, chief executive officer at WWF-UK said: “Every day, around 55 elephants are slaughtered for their ivory. We brought this incredible elephant hologram to London to remind people of the beauty and majesty of these animals and highlight the urgency of the need to protect them.
“The illegal wildlife trade is a serious organised crime and one of the biggest threats to wildlife like elephants, tigers and marine turtles. It also hurts communities that live alongside them. We hope the UK public will join us in our call for an end to this brutal trade by signing our petition demanding world leaders in London this week help us stop wildlife trafficking by cracking down on corruption, providing better support for rangers and closing all ivory markets."