Actress and activist Kristin Davis and National Geographic investigative reporter Bryan Christy dropped by NOW with Alex with Alex Wagner Tuesday to discuss the illegal ivory trade that has seen the elephant population in Africa drop from 10 million in 1900 to less than 500,000 today.
The sale of ivory was banned by an international treaty in 1990, but since then, poachers have been making huge profits killing elephants to satisfy a growing demand for the luxury product primarily from China and other Asian nations.
“Elephants could be extinct in the next 10 years, in our lifetime,” Davis said. “To me that is unacceptable and shocking.”
Bryan Christy, who penned the cover story “Blood Ivory” in the October 2012 issue of National Geographic and features in an upcoming documentary, “Battle for the Elephants” on PBS, said China is primarily responsible for the rise in black market ivory sales.
“When it comes to the elephant, and the future of the elephant, everything rests on China’s shoulders,” he said. “We have 1.3 billion people, a burgeoning middle class and they’re choosing to buy ivory and it’s completely out of time with the rest of the world and what this species needs to survive.”
National Geographic’s “Battle of the Elephants” will air Wednesday February 27 on PBS at 9pm ET.