In a bid to bring attention to the increasing number of animals being poached yearly for their horns, tusks, scales, and meat due to unfounded rumors, WildAid is challenging common Vietnamese’s beliefs.
The wildlife conservation group, in partnership with creative agency Dinosaur Vietnam and non-profit organization Change Vietnam, launched the #BeTheirBodhisattva campaign to bring awareness to the plight of 1,000 rhinos, 33,000 elephants, and 100,000 pangolins that are being poached every year.
The campaign began on January 28, 2019, which is the Life Release Day (Tsethar) in Lunar calendar and known for the day of the traditional Buddhist practice of saving living beings that were destined for slaughter. It will run till March 10.
As part of the campaign, three wild animal statutes feature real-life sufferings in which they have been tormented: a rhino with its horn cut-off, a mom and baby pangolin with scales peeled off and an elephant with broken tusks, all kneeling down in praying position in front of Buddha statue in Vinh Nghiem Pagoda, one of the biggest pagodas in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
The installation acts as a wake-up call for people to listen, understand and become those animals' saviors by simply stop consuming wildlife products.
WildAid hopes the campaign will educate the public about the cruel act behind wild life’s products that they have been profusely believed in by Vietnamese for its so-called magical health properties. It also wants to show that these endangered animals also share the same strong desire, by simply letting them pray in front of Buddha just like every normal human.