Vancouver Fashion Week Shines a Spotlight on the Elephant Crisis

Photo:  One-year-old Ngilai at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant orphanage will be available for adoption at the Elephanatics table at VFW on Sunday (March 20). © David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

In an industry that regularly garners criticism from animal advocates, Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW) is showing the world that animals do in fact matter. On Saturday (March 19) VFW will feature Elephantasia, a pachyderm-inspired, eco-couture collection by a collaboration of 12 different designers globally. This travelling exhibition will raise awareness and funds for African elephants who are killed for their ivory. In Africa an elephant dies every 15 minutes. Ninety-six elephants die from poaching per day and at this rate, African elephants will be extinct within our generation.

Elephantasia is enlisting the support of BC’s only elephant advocacy organization – Elephanatics. Based in Vancouver, the group helps the long-term survival of elephants by raising awareness, organizing events such as the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos, and providing education on the enormous challenges elephants face in Africa’s poaching crisis and in Asia’s tourist trade.

The fashion show on Saturday (March 19) will also include guest speaker, Dr. Jake Wall, Chief Scientific Research Advisor for Elephanatics. He will speak at 4:30 pm about the current poaching crisis in Africa. Dr. Wall developed a real-time monitoring system using high-tech GPS tracking technology inside collars that were put on wild elephants. The system helps counter elephant poaching in Kenya and South Africa. Dr. Walls technology was instrumental in capturing iconic footage of a one-hundred-plus elephant herd for National Geographic’s documentary, Great Migrations.

On Sunday (March 20), Elephanatics will host an information booth at VFW’s show at the Chinese Cultural Centre at 4:00 pm. The booth will be collecting donations for the African Wildlife Foundation and encouraging baby elephant “adoptions” with the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s elephant orphanage in Kenya. The orphanage cares for the young elephants orphaned by poaching, until they are ready to be introduced to the wild again.

Elephantasia at Vancouver Fashion Week
March 19, 2016 at 4:30 pm
Elephanatics Information Booth at Vancouver Fashion Week
March 20, 2016 at 4:00 pm
Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver
50 East Pender Street, Vancouver, BC

Twitter: @elephanaticsbc
Instagram: Elephantasia2016

Tessa Vanderkop

Written by: Leanne Fogarty – Director of Education, Elephanatics BC

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