Leonardo DiCaprio Joins WWF to Launch “Hands Off My Parts” Initiative to Stop Wildlife Crime | WWF

Leonardo DiCaprio Joins WWF to Launch “Hands Off My Parts” Initiative to Stop Wildlife Crime

Posted on 19 February 2013
Leonardo DiCaprio Joins WWF to Launch “Hands Off My Parts” Initiative to Stop Wildlife Crime
© HOMP Launch Press Release
Prominent voices join together to raise awareness and urge immediate action on illegal wildlife trade

WASHINGTON, DC, Feb 18, 2013  Today, actor and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Board Member Leonardo DiCaprio helped launch WWFs Hands Off My Parts initiative. The initiative represents a week-long effort tied to WWFs Stop Wildlife Crime campaign to raise awareness and mobilize support to end the illegal trade of wildlife.

Wildlife crime has reached levels never seen before in WWFs 50-year history. Rhinos, tigers, and elephants are being killed at alarming rates for their skins, bones, tusks, horns and other body parts.

Tens of thousands of elephants are being poached every year for their ivory. Thailand is home to the biggest unregulated ivory market in the world. Exploiting a legal loophole that permits the sale of ivory from Thailands domesticated elephants, criminals are getting away with selling massive amounts of illegally poached African ivory alongside legal ivory in the country.

In addition to raising awareness of this global crisis, the Hands Off My Parts initiative highlights what people can do to help, including spreading the word and signing a global petitioncalling on Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to ban all ivory trade in Thailand.

In support of this effort, DiCaprio sent a personal email to WWF supporters, celebrities and other influencers encouraging them to join the wildlife crime campaign and sign the petition.

Illegal wildlife trade is the most urgent threat facing species like tigers, rhinos and elephants. These animals are being killed every day to feed an escalating demand for their body parts, said Leonardo DiCaprio. Whole populations are at risk of being wiped out if we dont take immediate action to shut down this illicit trade. As a key step, I am joining WWF and others calling on Thailands government to show leadership on elephant conservation by shutting down its ivory market before the country hosts a meeting of 177 nations on wildlife trade in March 2013.

"With knowledge comes the imperative to act, said Carter Roberts, president & CEO of WWF. This story needs to be told. We're grateful to Leonardo DiCaprio and others for being the voice for animals who cannot speak for themselves.

Other prominent voices joining this initiative include: Emily VanCamp, Josh Bowman, Stacy Keibler, Alyssa Milano, Ian Somerhalder, and Ethan Suplee.

Hands Off My Parts is the latest initiative in WWFs global campaign to raise awareness about illicit wildlife trade as a serious crime with far-reaching implications for species and communities around the world. To learn more and what you can do to help, please visit worldwildlife.org/wildlifecrime or www.handsoffmyparts.org.


WWF is the worlds leading conservation organization, working in 100 countries for half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visit www.worldwildlife.org to learn more.
Leonardo DiCaprio Joins WWF to Launch “Hands Off My Parts” Initiative to Stop Wildlife Crime
© HOMP Launch Press Release Enlarge
Smuggled Tiger CUb One of 16 tigers cubs seized from smugglers on Friday (26 Oct). A vetinarary team from the wildlife forensic unit take blood samples to trace the DNA. Chaiyaphum, Thailand. The tiger cubs were being smuggled across the border from Thailand into Laos two-per crate in the back of a truck. The cubs were very probably reared in an illegal tiger farm in Thailand and destined for China.
© WWF / James Morgan Enlarge
Ivory inspection, Thailand An officer from NRECSD inspects a shop selling jewellery and trinkets made from elephant ivory in Tha Phrachan market, Thailand.
© WWF / James Morgan Enlarge
Seized Shipment of Illegal African Elephant Tusks, Thailand Customs officials in Suvarnabhumi discover a shipment of African elephant tusks from Mozambique. Suvarnabhumi is a major hub for both wildlife and drug trafficking, Thailand.
© WWF / James Morgan Enlarge

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