The film star wants to help save African elephants from decimation. The ever-growing demand for their ivory tusks, particularly in China and Vietnam, but also in the U.S., Europe and worldwide, has led to their near extermination at the rate of 96 elephants killed every day in Africa.
The U.S. Wildlife Conservation Society produced the video starring Schwarzenegger that is part of the 96 Elephants campaign.
In the video, released today, the former governor stands in front of a military tank and presses a detonator, blowing up an elephant tusk donated by the Los Angeles Zoo.
“Let’s get rid of the demand once and for all,” Schwarzenegger says in the video.
According to the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society, headquartered at the Bronx Zoo, a virulent wave of poaching is on the increase, taking elephant lives to get to their tusks. Every year at least 33,000 elephants are illegally poached, equating to one elephant every twenty minutes.
“A world without elephants would be a tragic failure of our humanity,” the group wrote on its website. “The Elephant Crisis Fund addresses this crisis.”
Protecting wildlife is attracting other stars of cinema. Angelina Jolie-Pitt is scheduled to direct a film on the life on Kenyan conservationist Richard Leakey to be shot in Kenya.
Leakey, who will step down as chair of the Kenya Wildlife Service at the end of the year, cited a measure of progress in the fight against poachers – 83 elephants killed by poachers in Kenya in 2015, down from 302 in 2013.
However a near-record seizure of four tons of ivory hidden inside containers of tea last May put Kenya back on the map as a hub for illicit trade in ivory. The shipping is done through Mombasa, a major transit point for smuggling amid lax oversight.