At least 136 cities across the world have seen marches protesting against the rhino horn and ivory trades.
Thousands of people participated in the worldwide event on Saturday, dubbed the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos.
“Unless action is taken now, we will lose these majestic, highly intelligent, and emotionally sentient creatures forever,” organizers have warned.
The official website of the march states, “More than 35,000 elephants are being killed every year so their tusks can be carved into ivory trinkets. A rhino is slaughtered once every nine to 11 hours for its horn.”
The organizers stated the “only hope” for rhinos and elephants is to end the trade in rhino horns and ivory.
One of the organizers in South Africa, Dex Kotze told AFP the protests aim to safeguard rhinos and elephants for “our future generation.”
“We are protesting against the political leaders of the world, who do not have the guts and political will to make changes in their laws,” Kotze stated.
Kotze also argued the trade in ivory is a boon for criminal groups, with terrorist organizations like Al Shabaab in Somalia profiting from the US$ billion business.
Organizers have issued a 16 point list of objectives online, including demands for a total global ban on the trade in ivory and rhino horns, tougher penalties for poachers and better international cooperation to halt killings.