This year, an estimated 30,000 elephants will be killed by poachers. So will another 800 rhinoceroses. The trade in products derived from their tusks and horns constitutes a nearly $20-billion illegal industry. And it's only getting worse.
That's according to Gambling on Extinction, a new documentary by Toronto's Real to Reel Productions and Germany's A&O Buero Filmproduktion. Today, international action star, animal lover and friend of the show Jackie Chan came out in support of the film, which follows Interpol and animal rights activists as they seek to take down poachers and the criminal networks that keep the industry alive.
"Everyone should dispel the myths that ivory jewelry and carvings are made from tusks that have fallen off the elephant or from elephants that have died of natural causes," Chan said in a statement. "This is simply not true. Elephants are being hunted and killed for their tusks. The only way to stop the slaughter is to cut the demand. We are all consumers, so we can all make a difference."
Check out the trailer (warning: it's a little graphic) and look for the documentary to air on Animal Planet in the coming months.
Another recent guest of the show who's deeply concerned with the issue is Jane Goodall, who talked with George about the ivory trade on Tuesday's episode:
And we couldn't let a Jackie Chan post go by without showing you this, Jackie's Best Story Ever, about the time he picked a fight with Bruce Lee:
Meanwhile, in other elephant news, CBC's Fifth Estate is following Toka, Thika and Iringa as they make their way from the Toronto Zoo to their new home in California. Follow along at @elephantscbc and watch the full documentary on November 1.