On World Elephant Day, Yes On I-1401 Campaign Events Give Washington Voters Chance to Fight Poachers

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Today, to mark World Elephant Day, Yes On I-1401 is holding events in the Puget Sound area to give Washingtonians the opportunity to fight poachers and save elephants facing extinction. The need for action is urgent: one elephant is slaughtered every 15 minutes to sell its body parts on the black market – it’s happening even as you read this press release. This grim toll means approximately 30,000 elephants are killed each year.

Yes On I-1401 will be holding two World Elephant Day events in Seattle and Tacoma where Washingtonians will craft “Elegrams”, or Elephant Telegrams, that will generate awareness of the plight of elephants, help unlock funding for conservation efforts, and raise support to pass Yes On I-1401 in November.

Interested outlets may contact press@saveanimalsfacingextinction.org for more information, and follow the hashtags #yeson1401 and #elegram to see Washingtonians taking action.

Initiative 1401 will be on the November 2015 ballot and is designed to help save animals facing extinction. The measure would prohibit the purchase, sale, and distribution of products made from a list of 10 endangered animals being exploited to the point of potential extinction, and will be enforced by strong penalties. The animals protected by I-1401 include elephants, rhinos, lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, marine turtles, pangolins, sharks and rays. Yesterday, 250 members of the scientific community underscored the need for measures like Yes On I-1401 to help prevent the extinction of the world’s elephants.

“Washington voters have an incredible opportunity this year to help lead the global fight against animal poaching by passing Initiative 1401, which strengthens state protections for 10 iconic animal species groups threatened with extinction,” said campaign spokesperson Aaron Pickus. “World Elephant Day is an worldwide event to raise awareness and advance solutions. Our campaign is spending World Elephant Day signing up volunteers, engaging with the public on social media and building on the momentum behind #YesOn1401 to ensure Washington is not a market of choice for products derived from elephants.”

Since 2012, World Elephant Day has served as a global organizing event to bring attention to the critical threat against Asian and African elephants. Today, the number of African elephants in the wild is estimated to be only around 470,000.

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Photo by Paul Hilton for Greenpeace