You may or may have not felt charmed by Lupita Nyong'o's humility, speeches, or stylish Instagram pictures, but if you are interested in elephant conservation you definitely should listen to what the actress has to say.
Recently named Global Elephant Ambassador for conservation organization WildAid, Lupita is determined to use her international stardom to draw attention to the illegal poaching and ivory trade problem.
"Elephants are one of our big five. We have their image on our money. I know this is something that is great source of pride for Kenya. This is global heritage, but it's in our care" she said in an interview for the BBC.
Even though conservationists and wildlife lovers already know what Lupita is saying, most people don't. Environmental issues are still a small part of what the media covers - if any at all, and wildlife crime makes its way through our daily lives without people even realizing. It's clear that environmental education is needed, and in a world where many people don't even believe in climate change's reality yet, having contemporary celebrities like Lupita Nyong'o supporting causes like #IvoryFree is a big step to stop cruelty and save elephants.
"I have come to realize that when you know more, you do more" said Lupita. "I want to encourage people all over the world to learn more about these incredible animals. From reading a conservation website like WildAid.org to visiting one of the many unforgettable, world-class national parks."
Why, this is a message that the actress has shared with 394,000 people on Twitter, and over 1.7 million followers on Instagram. All of which could be potential new animal activists!
"I ask the world to end the current elephant poaching crisis by being ivory free. It is time to ban sales of ivory worldwide and to consign the tragedy of the ivory trade to history." Yes it is, Lupita, yes it is. With the increasing ivory demand from countries like China (where the price of raw ivory has tripled in just four years!), we need now more than ever to change the mind of those who still see ivory as a status material.
The situation is critical, but fortunately we've got plenty of organizations and nonprofits working hard to protect elephants around the world. WildAid is just one among hundreds, along with The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the African Wildlife Foundation, the Wildlife Conservation Society, or the International Anti-Poaching Foundation, for example.
With celebrities like Lupita Nyong'o, Kristin Davis, Yao Ming, or Edward Norton supporting the work of these non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and engaging their fans into social media activism and sustainable thinking, I dare to say there is hope for the wild.