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Do you or the kids in your life love Kung Fu Panda? Well, our friend Po the panda has an important conservation message for us: “Poaching steals from us all”.
The charismatic panda is the newest celebrity ambassador for a new campaign to raise awareness of the illegal wildlife trade and engage people by reminding them that the “big guys” need our help.
Illegal wildlife trade is an un-fun topic, to say the least; this multi-billion dollar global industry is decimating species at alarming rates, and has been linked to the trafficking of drugs, arms and people. While illegal wildlife trade is driven by consumer demand for wildlife and its parts, awareness of this epidemic remains shockingly low – and many Americans report that they don’t feel that it is relevant to them, or that it does not happen where they live.
A joint effort by WildAid and the Wildlife Trafficking Alliance, the Kung Fu Panda campaign represents a strategic effort to bring illegal wildlife trade into the light and create informed citizen advocates for conservation. If we love these animals when we visit them at accredited zoos and see them on the silver screen, we must work to protect them in the wild.
Look for Po and his wild friends on campaign posters next time you visit the Zoo. Even better, keep an eye on our social media channels for posts from the Kung Fu Panda campaign, and share to help raise awareness of illegal wildlife trade.
The Wildlife Trafficking Alliance (WTA) is a coalition of more than 60 leading companies, nonprofit organizations, and Association of Zoos & Aquariaums (AZA) accredited zoos and aquariums that are working together to reduce the purchase and sale of illegal wildlife and wildlife products. WTA works with a variety of partners whose active engagement is essential to the success of the WTA goals.
In 2018, WTA joined forces with AZA in a united effort to fight the global epidemic of wildlife trafficking. WTA is now a program of AZA, where efforts will continue across a variety of industry sectors and will include coordinated efforts with AZA-accredited facilities to protect wild animal populations around the world via the AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction program.
Your Zoo is a Platinum Partner of the Wildlife Trafficking Alliance, and Zoo conservation staff help us raise awareness of this important work.