Actor and animal advocate Josh Duhamel has been selected by WildAid, the global non-profit organization leading the fight to end the illegal wildlife trade, to receive its coveted 2017 Wildlife Champion Award.
Duhamel has been an advocate for WildAid, filming several PSAs for the organization and using his celebrity status on social media to engage new audiences and to spread awareness of the illegal wildlife trade and its detrimental effects on endangered species worldwide.
Most recently, Duhamel appeared in a series of print, radio, and television public service announcements alerting travelers to the impacts of buying souvenirs made from imperiled wildlife species.
“Many of the world’s most magnificent animals are being pushed to extinction by the illegal trade in products made from their body parts,” Duhamel said in a TV spot while holding a tortoise shell bracelet made from a sea turtle shell. “If you travel abroad, you may be offered one of these products. They may look nothing like the animal itself, but don’t be fooled.”
Trade in illicit products made from wildlife threatens many species worldwide. Whether ivory carvings and trinkets, coral jewelry or tortoise shell accessories, travelers buying these products often unknowingly contribute to the illegal killing of animals.
Although the U.S. is a chief consumer market for illicit wildlife products, a recent WildAid survey found that four out of five Americans know little or nothing about the illegal trade in this country.
Duhamel will be on hand to accept the award during “An Evening with WildAid,” an annual fundraising gala taking place this year on November 11 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.
A highlight of the Gala is WildAid CEO Peter Knights’ introduction of the organization’s new programs to protect endangered species and marine habitats, including recent work by WildAid’s portfolio of celebrity ambassadors including Josh Duhamel, Lupita Nyong’o, Yao Ming, Jackie Chan, HRH Prince William, Leonardo DiCaprio, Maggie Q, the cast of The Walking Dead and many others.
Martial arts superstar and wildlife champion Jackie Chan is calling for an end to consuming pangolin products in a new public service announcement released last month for WildAid and The Nature Conservancy.
WildAid’s 2016 gala raised $1.5 million to support the organization’s global programs. Ian Somerhalder was the recipient of last year’s Wildlife Champion Award winner while Maggie Q received the honor in 2015.
WildAid is the only group to focus exclusively on reducing demand for illegal wildlife products through public awareness campaigns. With the simple message “When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too,” WildAid works with government, business and media partners, as well as celebrities and high profile individuals to advocate consumer change.
More information is available on WildAid’s website. Donations to WildAid can be made HERE!
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