December 9, 2014

Kathryn Bigelow Shows The Connection Between Elephant Poaching And Terrorism In Animated Short Film

Director Kathryn Bigelow of Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty fame has helmed a short and animated public service ad (PSA) that will make you think twice before purchasing anything that's made of ivory. Called Last Days, the short film shows in reverse chronology how ivory products make their way to a marketplace in Asia. The film queries the viewer, "When you buy something made of ivory, where does the money go?"

Last Days not only tells the viewer where the money goes, it also tells rather graphically how and where the ivories come from. Bigelow collaborated with Annapurna Pictures and the environment organization WildAid in making the film. WildAid is an organization whose main focus is in reducing the demand for wildlife products.

Last Days claims that an elephant is murdered every 15 minutes, over 30,000 of them are gunned down every year, and if this continues, elephants in the wild can go extinct in just a span of 11 years.

There's an unmistakable connection between elephant poaching and global terrorism. Al-Shabaab, an extremist and jihadist terrorist group in Somalia makes about US$600,000 every month from ivory sales. The group has achieved notoriety in 2013 for murdering 67 people and wounding 175 others at the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya.

Other terrorist groups like The Lord's Resistance Army and Boko Haram also engage in ivory operations and they use the money they get from these operations to carry out their terrorism acts.  For more information about the Last Days, visit its official website here.

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