Ellen DeGeneres has launched a campaign to raise money for elephant conservation after the Trump administration last week reversed Barack Obama’s law banning animal trophies from entering the United States.
DeGeneres condemned the new law and accused Trump of “encouraging Americans to kill elephants,” asserting that she was “determined to do something” to protect the animals.
“I love elephants and if you take the time to learn about elephants you would love them too,” she told her audience. “Elephants show compassion, sympathy, social intelligence, self-awareness … all the things I have yet to see in this president.” She went on: “Many things I don’t like about this guy, but this has got me. Elephants are beautiful, thoughtful, intelligent creatures.”
DeGeneres then announced a new campaign to protect elephants. “If you’re as outraged as I am please repost [this photo], retweet it, with the hashtag #bekindtoelephants and for everyone who does we will make a donation to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to help protect elephants.”
She called on those who aren’t moved by the story to do some research and learn more about elephants. “And if you’re not outraged just take a little time, just Google elephants and see how truly remarkable they are. They’re worth fighting for.”
Other celebrities have also spoken out against Trump’s decision, including Russell Crowe, who posted “Dear people with no soul, stop shooting elephants.”
Actress Olivia Munn wrote “Trump has decided killing elephants is OK. Elephants are kind, intelligent and devoted to their families. Lifting the ban only puts them in further danger. Trophy hunting of any kind should not be allowed and does not aid in conservation. Leave the elephants alone.”
British comedian Ricky Gervais said the news “breaks my heart.” He wrote: “The fact that Trump has lifted President Obama’s ban on elephant trophies being imported into the country is a devastating blow to the survival of these beautiful animals. It’s savage and pointless.”
The US Fish and Wildlife Service has defended the decision, claiming that the move will aid conservation efforts. “The hunting and management programs for African elephants will enhance the survival of the species in the wild,” The Independent reports. “Legal, well-regulated sport hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit the conservation of certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve the species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation.”
The Humane Society have critised this assertion, stating: “Let’s be clear: elephants are on the list of threatened species; the global community has rallied to stem the ivory trade; and now, the US government is giving American trophy hunters the green light to kill them.”
Watch Ellen’s impassioned speech below:
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) November 17, 2017