Cote d’Ivoire national team star and captain of Manchester City FC, Yaya Toure and footballers at a World Cup qualifier match between Cote d’Ivoire and Morocco will make a strong statement Saturday.
The leader of Manchester City FC and his mates will stand up against the illegal killings of elephants in Africa, – in support of global efforts to stop the illegal trade in wildlife. This cause is championed by the United Nations and their partners.
The sold-out match, which might be viewed by up to 25 million people around the world, will feature the players carrying slogans to raise awareness against the killings of elephants and other wildlife.
The UN estimates that over 17,000 elephants were illegally killed in monitored sites in 2011 alone. Overall figures may be much higher.
In Cote d’ Ivoire, the number of elephants has fallen to 800 individuals, according to recent reports. Last year, in Bouba N’Djida National Park, northern Cameroon, up to 450 elephants were killed by rebel groups from Chad and Sudan. The extent of the killings now far exceeds the natural population growth rates, putting elephants at risk of extinction, especially in Central and Western Africa.
But even previously secure populations, like in East Africa, are now under threat.
Yaya Toure: “Time is running out for African Elephants. The surge in the killing of elephants in Africa and the illegal trafficking in other threatened species will not only threaten the animals, but will affect the livelihoods of millions who depend on tourism for a living.”
“Wildlife crime is a serious threat to the security, political stability, economy, natural resources and cultural heritage of many countries. We need to come together to take action against the illegal trade in wildlife across Africa and across the world,” the Manchester City FC star added.
Toure and his Manchester FC teammates return to Premier League action soon. They have two really big match-ups coming up soon- vs. Manchester United on September 22nd and Chelsea on October 27th.