Leonardo Di Caprio calls for ivory trade ban in Thailand
BANGKOK - The Associated Press
Seized ivory tusks are displayed during a Hong Kong Customs press conference on January 4, 2013. Hong Kong said on January 4 it has seized over a tonne of ivory worth about 1.4 million USD in a shipment from Kenya that passed through Malaysia, the city's third big seizure in less than three months. Thai activists say a legal loophole encourages massive quantities of African ivory to be illegally imported to Thailand each year. AFP photoHollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio has called on the Thai government to ban all ivory trade in the country, as part of a global campaign to tackle the illegal wildlife crimes.
International conservation group World Wildlife Fund said in a statement Tuesday that DiCaprio sent a personal email to his friends and supporters to encourage them to sign a petition addressing Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra over the wildlife trade.
In the email, DiCaprio called on the Thai government to take the lead on elephant conservation by shutting down the ivory market.
Although Thai law prohibits sales of African tusks in the kingdom, ivory from domesticated elephants can be traded legally.
Activists say the loophole encourages massive quantities of African ivory to be illegally imported to Thailand each year.