You may be familiar with Dutch supermodel Doutzen Kroes in her role as Amazon warrior Venelia in the films Wonder Woman and Justice League — but the former Victoria’s Secret Angel’s utter fierceness extends beyond the screen as she valiantly fights to save elephants from extinction.
Doutzen Kroes ties a knot for the elephants!
Elephants are truly magnificent creatures, and their habits show they’re not so different from humans as one might think. Elephants form deep family bonds, are raised in tight groups, and mourn and bury their dead. Elephants also have remarkable memories and are exceptionally smart. In order to make their lives easier, elephants have been known to use tools — such as branches and blades of grass — to swat away pesky flies, to scratch an annoying itch, and to dig holes in the ground to access drinking water. Their ability to make water holes (which other species benefit from), along with the fact that they minimize vegetation growth and help disperse the seeds of surrounding trees, makes them an invaluable keystone species within their respective ecosystems.
Sadly, roughly 33,000 elephants are poached for their ivory tusks each year. To put that into perspective, every 15 minutes an elephant will be killed so its ivory can be used to make such things as trinkets or jewelry. In September of 2016, Kroes launched the Knot On My Planet campaign to directly support the Elephant Crisis Fund’s goal of raising $15 million, and every single penny the Elephant Crisis Fund earns goes straight towards helping end the illegal ivory trade!
Kroes and her husband Sunnery James with their son Phyllon and daughter Myllena on a trip to the Samburu National Reserve in Kenya.
Kroes’ mission to help the elephants was first conceived when she visited the Elephant Watch Camp in Kenya with her family. There she encountered herds of elephants in all their glory and knew she had to do something to save them. Of her decision to name the campaign “Knot On My Planet,” she told Bloomberg Pursuits: “We tie a knot when we don’t want to forget. We’ve been forgetting the elephants, and if we don’t do something now, they will disappear.” Kroes was hopeful the campaign would spur the fashion industry to support the initiative and it’s certainly done just that! Supermodels like Naomi Campbell, Adriana Lima, Gigi Hadid, and Karlie Kloss (and even celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Emily Ratajkowski!) have all joined the cause, and some even sported knots on their social media accounts to help raise funds for the campaign.
At the end of last year, Knot On My Planet partnered with Tiffany & Co. for the second time to help the Elephant Crisis Fund reach their fundraising goal. Tiffany & Co. launched the Save the Wild collection and guaranteed 100 percent of their profits to the campaign. In just three months, the Tiffany Save the Wild collection reached Tiffany & Co.’s pledge of raising $1 million by January 2019. Good news is they will continue to support the cause, so you still have time to shop the charitable collection!
Elephant Charm Bracelet from the Tiffany Save the Wild Collection, $200
The world is changing…
Thankfully, campaigns like Knot On My Planet are bringing the plight of the elephants to the forefront of public attention. Last year, China announced they would put an ivory trade ban in place on the mainland, and as of January 2018, it is in full effect! As a result, countless ivory factories and shops have been closed. Another monumental vote just took place in Hong Kong (the world’s largest ivory market), as lawmakers announced they will gradually phase out ivory sales in the region.
Documentaries like Leonardo DiCaprio’s The Ivory Game are also shining a spotlight on the horrific reality of the global ivory trade and the need for elephant conservation efforts. If you’d like to learn more about the illegal ivory trade, you can watch the documentary on Netflix.
Help keep the momentum going!
With only 450,000 to 700,000 African elephants and an estimated 35,000 to 40,000 Asian elephants alive in the wild today, it is increasingly important that conservation efforts be continued to protect these beautiful creatures. If you’d like to make a difference, here are three ways you can help put an end to ivory trading:
2. Adopt an elephant: A terrific gift option, you can adopt an African elephant via the World Wildlife Fund! With six different adoption kits to choose from, the symbolic elephant adoption will assist in African elephant conservation efforts.
3. Practice elephant-friendly tourism: Elephants that are ripped from the wild for entertainment suffer serious mental and physical abuse, so make it a point not to support elephant shows, elephant rides, or other acts that use elephants for show. Instead, appreciate elephants in the wild by visiting wildlife preserves that promote elephant conservation efforts. Also, pay close attention to the souvenirs you buy while on vacation, especially in countries known for their ivory trade.
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Photos: Doutzen Kroes via Instagram, Tiffany & Co.