Arnold Schwarzenegger is addressing ivory poaching in the only way he knows how: by blowing stuff up. The actor and former California governor recently “terminated” a piece of elephant tusk in support of the Wildlife Conservation Society and its “96 Elephants” campaign to end illegal poaching. “Stop killing 96 elephants every day just because of this ivory,” he said, before detonating an explosive that shatters the tusk, a donation from the Los Angeles Zoo, into a thousand fragments. “Let’s get rid of the demand once and for all.”
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Schwarzenegger’s support, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society, comes “not a moment too soon,” particularly in light of a proposed policy rider in the House Interior Appropriations Bill that would undermine efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to thwart the illegal trade of ivory in the United States.
The language, the organization added, would not only curtail attempts to tighten existing regulations on African elephant ivory, allowing poached ivory to be easily sold in American markets after slipping past the border, but it would also undermine U.S. diplomatic progress with China, which represents the “best chance for saving African elephants in the wild.”
None of this is fresh ground for Schwarzenegger, who is executive producer of National Geographic’s Years of Living Dangerously, an award-winning documentary series about global warming, and whose green progressiveness once led Newsweek to dub California under his governorship the “800-pound gorilla of American environmental policy.”
“Ivory poachers beware—The Terminator has now joined the herd of 96 Elephants supporters,” said John Calvelli, Wildlife Conservation Society’s executive vice president for public affairs and director of 96 Elephants. “We are extremely grateful Arnold Schwarzenegger has joined the 96 Elephants campaign, and we are hopeful that his global following of fans will become allies to stop the killing, stop the trafficking, and stop the demand of ivory.”