WildAid has teamed up with multiple Buddhist temples to place three sculptures outside in the hopes to create awareness about wildlife poaching.
Vinh Nghiem Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh City – The importance of highlighting the plights of Elephant, Pangolin and Rhino is greatest on the ground where their illegally trafficked products are used. Most of the products are said to have medicinal properties and people that use them, often don’t know what happens to these animals in order for these products to arrive in their stores.
As part of the Lunar New Year, WildAid and CHANGE along with some prominent Buddhist temples, are urging Vietnamese citizens to start protecting rhinos, pangolins, and elephants. The new campaign is being called, “Be Their Bodhisattva,” or, be their saviour.
They have placed three sculptures kneeling down in prayer in front of the Vinh Nghiem Pagoda. The Rhino and Elephant have had horns and tusks removed and the pangolin, along with its baby have had all their scales removed.
“With so many people looking to start their new year by helping others, we hope they will take the suggestion of this campaign to help save endangered wildlife by making their commitment to stop buying and using any wildlife products, especially rhino horn, ivory, and pangolin scales and meat,” said John Baker, WildAid’s Chief Program Officer.
“We applaud the pagodas and the Buddhist monks for helping to spread this message during this most important time of year for them.”
The sculptures are being moved from temple to temple over the next few weeks until the campaign ends on the 10th of March. Visitors will be given Tet red envelopes as a new year’s lucky gift and view live-streamed speeches by the pagoda’s Abbots on wildlife protection.
The public can also participate in interactive contests on social media while learning about the urgent threats these species face due to illegal poaching and trade in their parts.
By addressing this problem at the end of the line, the demand could drop thus decreasing the supply and on the frontline, preventing the senseless death of these beautiful animals.
‘A 2016 survey conducted by WildAid, African Wildlife Foundation and CHANGE in Vietnam showed that just 23% of respondents believe rhino horn has medicinal effects compared with 69% in 2014, a 67% decline. Only 9.4% of respondents believe rhino horn can cure cancer, down from 34.5% in 2014, a 73% decline.’
This means these campaigns are working and through constant refreshing, more people are moving away from the use of these illegally traded animal products. This is good news indeed!