Hollywood’s A-listers are showing their support for animal conservation at a gala Beverly Hills charity event sponsored by WildAid, a San Francisco-based wildlife organization active throughout the world. The affair (An Evening in Africa) which will be held at the Montage Hotel on Nov. 7 comes on the heels of the Sept. 28 Emmy awards in which the organization is a contender for the category of Outstanding Nature Programming for its film “Saving Africa’s Giants with Yao Ming—a story about the awareness of threats against wildlife, from the elephant poaching crisis to the recent killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe. An animal rights advocate long before the horror and outrage over Cecil the Lion’s death, WildAid is a maverick in the field of saving threatened and endangered wildlife, such as lions, tigers, elephants, rhinos, sharks, mantas and other marine species are suffering and dying. Many face near extinction, due to illegal trade, poaching, gaming and other inhumane activity. WildAid’s goal is to end the global trade that’s driving this slaughter by educating and persuading consumers never to buy illegal wildlife products. When the buying stops, the killing can too.
The non-profit organization has many celebrity followers featured in past and upcoming WildAid PSAs who will be at the bash and include HRH Prince William, Kristin Bauer, David Beckham, Kathryn Bigelow, Sir Richard Branson, Jackie Chan, Chevy & Jayni Chase*, Michael Cudlitz, Bo Derek & John Corbett*, Leo DiCaprio, Minnie Driver, Ralph Fiennes, Harrison Ford, Pau Gasol, Jane Goodall, Kate Hudson, Taylor Kitsch, Johnny Knoxville, Yao Ming, Edward Norton, Lupita Nyong’o, Hayden Panettiere, Joaquin Phoenix, Maggie Q & Dylan McDermott*, Jeremy Renner, Ian Somerhalder, and Amy Tan. One major supporter, Walking Dead star Michael Cudlitz says of WildAid, “When the buying stops, the killing can too. It’s not just a slogan, it’s a fact. Because of the work being done by WildAid, my great grandchildren will grow up in a world that still has actual elephants, rhinos and sharks. I couldn’t be more proud to play a small part in this work.” Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o who journeyed to Kenya with WildAid and was prominently featured in the international media, including Good Morning America, BBC News, People, Hello! and Vogue, is advocating globally for elephants and other endangered species.
A top-rated wildlife conservation charity according to Charity Navigator rankings, WildAid has worked to reduce the demand for such products as shark fin soup, with consumption in China plummeting by as much as 70% in recent years.