Film stars campaign for rhinos

South Africa was recently graced with a visit from two beautiful  and rhino-righteous women who want the world to know about the desperate situation of the rhino.

The stunning stars were Christie Brinkley (American model and actress known for her previous appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated and as the face of Covergirl) and Bai Ling (a Chinese-born actress known for her roles in The Crow, Wild Wild West and Lost). The stars were invited to South Africa in the first, and hopefully not last, effort to create awareness through famous figures by using their social media platforms.

Campaign organiser, Dex Kotze, hopes Bai’s active social media profile will promote the message in Asia. Bai Ling has more than 2 million fans and followers in Asia, especially in China, where the market for rhino horn and elephant ivory is.

Christie Brinkley and Bai Ling could not hold back tears or hide their anger as they spoke about the desperate situation of the rhino. “I didn’t know how badly they were hurt and wounded and treated, and how lonely. And how they’re going to die,” Bai Ling said after seeing a video of brutally maimed rhinos.

The ladies agreed to star in these videos not for fame or fortune, but to help raise global awareness and stop the slaughter of Africa’s wildlife.  They want the world to share these messages across social media platforms. “On my Chinese blog, I’ve written a story about how cruel it is to kill a rhino to cut off its horn.” Bai Ling said, “They don’t know what’s going on… Chinese consumers have to be educated about rhino poaching… They don’t know what’s going on. They believe there are thousands and thousands of rhinos over there, and they don’t know how the rhino horn is produced. Maybe they think this is just like cows or chickens,” she said.

Brinkley, who has been involved in environmental activism in the past, said multiple strategies were needed to target the poaching. They involve “mainly raising the consciousness of the people who are creating the demand, and also trying to replace the income that the poachers desperately need to feed their families”, she said.

Bai and Brinkley will next travel to Kenya to extend the campaign to elephant poaching for Asia’s ivory trade.

Video by campaign organiser; Dex Kotze.

Here is another video interview with Christie Brinkley and Bai Ling from Newslook.

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