WCS Issues Statement on President Obama’s Executive Order on Elephant Poaching and Wildlife Trafficking

Bronx, NY – July 1, 2013 – The following statement has been released by Dr. Cristián Samper, President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), in response to the Executive Order issued today by President Obama that will aim to curtail forest elephant poaching in Central Africa and other forms of wildlife trafficking by dedicating $10 million for law enforcement capacity and creating a wildlife trafficking task force at the highest levels of the U.S. government, among other directives.

Dr. Samper said, “For all of the terrible news about elephants coming from Central Africa over the past several months, it is heartening to know that President Obama and his administration are calling for a coordinated strategy to stop the slaughter. We know that the problem is widespread and will take sustained efforts to curtail it, and the creation of a Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking is a much-needed and welcome step in the right direction.

“In order to save elephants and rhinos, it is imperative to stop the killing, stop the trafficking, and stop the demand. Without addressing each of these three segments, well-organized poaching networks will continue to decimate these dwindling populations.

“We thank President Obama and his administration for acting in defense of threatened elephants, rhinos and other wildlife and look forward to working with them on future actions to solve this crisis.”

Media Contacts
Chip Weiskotten – 202-624-8172; cweiskotten@wcs.org
Stephen Sautner – 718-220-3682; ssautner@wcs.org

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

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