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World Wildlife Foundation unveils heart-wrenching Christmas advert showing elephant looking poacher in the eye

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 22/11/2017 Alexandra Richards

(Provided by Press Association)

The World Wildlife Foundation has unveiled its emotional Christmas advert highlighting the damage caused by illegal poaching.

The heart-wrenching one minute film is titled “Just like us” and features an elephant looking its attacker directly in the eye.

It plays on the understanding that elephants are able to emotionally feel in a similar way to humans and reveals the devastating loss elephants experience when a heard-member is killed for its tusks.

a elephant that is looking at the camera © Provided by Independent Print Limited The advert delivers claims that 55 elephants are killed per day by poachers.

And it goes on to explain that global illegal wildlife trade is threatening some of the world’s most endangered animals.

According to the WWF website, there is currently an unprecedented spike in the illegal wildlife trade. Some of the animals targeted include rhinos, tigers and turtles.

Ivory and animal skins command high prices among consumers, particularly in Asia.

a close up of a persons face: wwfchristmasad211d.jpg © Provided by Independent Print Limited wwfchristmasad211d.jpg In some cases parts of the animal are believed to have healing powers. For example in Vietnam, a recent myth suggests that the rhino horn can cure cancer. This has led to a mass poaching of rhinos in South Africa.

The film features CGI views of the Savannah and a heart breaking message. The end of the video calls out for viewers to help stop poaching.

On the WWF website visitors can sign a pledge to stop wildlife crime.

WWF wrote on its site: "Ending the illegal wildlife trade is one of the most important and urgent parts of our work.

"The support of our members helps our work with TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network.

"Together, we’re helping train rangers and law enforcers, deploying new technology, working with local communities, tackling consumer demand for wildlife products, and working with governments to change legislations.

"The illegal wildlife trade is a huge international organised crime, and the methods used by poachers and smugglers are becoming more and more sophisticated. It’s threatening to undo decades of conservation work."

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