Star of Oscar Nominated Black Panther, Danai Gurira Says Save Rhinos
As rhino populations continue to decline, award-winning actress and playwright Danai Gurira has launched a new message to support anti-poaching efforts and address the demand for rhino horn. The 30-second PSA, created with thanks to Marvel and Walt Disney Studios, features a clip from the 2019 Oscar Nominated film Black Panther in which Gurira conveys the powerful message, “When the buying stops, the killing can too.”
In the last four decades, the world has lost 95 percent of its rhinos. If poaching continues at current rates, rhinos could be extinct in the wild within our lifetime.
In the PSA, Gurira’s character “Okoye” steps in front of a charging rhino and states: “We can’t all be saved by rhino but we can all help save rhinos. We’re still losing our rhinos to ruthless poachers who kill these beautiful animals just because people want their horns for carvings, jewelry, and cures. So please tell your friends and relatives to never buy rhino horn because when the buying stops, the killing can too.”
In just a decade, more than 7,912 South African rhinos have been poached, according to government figures. With a total rhino population in South Africa of about 20,000, losing almost 8,000 to poaching over the past 10 years is clearly unsustainable.
“Wild rhino populations are at critically low levels,” said WildAid CEO Peter Knights. “It will take all of us working together, from the public to government leaders, to end poaching within our lifetimes.”
Primarily composed of keratin, the same protein found in human hair and fingernails, rhino horn has no unique medicinal properties.
Since 2012, WildAid has worked to raise awareness of the rhino-poaching crisis in Vietnam and China, where rhino horn is primarily purchased. The campaign has leveraged over $169 million in pro bono airtime and media placement for campaign messages through an extensive network of media partners. In South Africa, WildaAid leverages pro bono media placement from global campaign partners to place anti-poaching billboards featuring well-known South Africans around the country’s main cities, airports, and shopping malls.
While poaching levels are unsustainable, there has been progress. Since rhino horn sales have been banned in Vietnam and China, investigations found that the price of rhino horn had fallen by 70 percent to roughly half the price of gold. Moreover, more people are aware of the false claims about rhino horn’s medical efficacy. A 2016 survey in Vietnam showed that awareness about rhinos being killed for their horns has increased by 74 percent since 2014.
WildAid is a non-profit organization with a mission to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes. While most wildlife conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching, WildAid primarily works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products such as elephant ivory, rhino horn and shark fin soup. With an unrivaled portfolio of celebrity ambassadors and a global network of media partners, WildAid leverages nearly $230 million in annual pro-bono media support with a simple message: When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too.