Chinese and British Filmmakers Join Forces to Reveal Horrors of the Illegal Ivory Trade to Ivory-Buying Public in China.

African elephants are being slaughtered across the continent for their ivory – 25,000 were killed last year according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Poaching for ivory is now recognised as serious organised crime, profits from which are known to be funding rebel armies and destabilising several African nations. The loss of elephants from habitats in which they are keystone species has severe economic and ecological consequences. Most of the ivory is illegally shipped to China and SE Asia where the demand is rising. A recent survey in China by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) found that 70 per cent of people buying ivory carvings did not know elephants were being killed for their tusks, and most purchasers planned to buy more ivory, seeing it as a symbol of their success.

British filmmaker Steve Taylor of Green Heart Films has been documenting the illegal ivory trade in the Congo Basin for the past year. Now, in an attempt to inform the Chinese public of the consequences of their ivory purchases, he has teamed up with Laurel Chor, a rising Chinese photographer, to produce a documentary for Chinese audiences. Versions will be made in both Mandarin and Cantonese to inform the ivory-buying public of what their purchases pay for – the merciless killing of whole elephant families and the murder of rangers and other law enforcement officers who bravely stand in their way. The film is being financed largely by crowd-funding – meaning anyone who cares about elephants can donate towards the costs. A preview, narrated by Will Travers OBE, is available at – it was made with support from organisations such as UNEP, IFAW, the Humane Society of Canada and the Born Free Foundation.

“We are driven with a passion to stop the slaughter of Africa’s elephants for we believe we can and must make a difference,” said Steve Taylor, who has witnessed the results of poaching in many African countries over decades.

Laurel Chor, who until the recent civil war was working in the Central African Republic,  added, “Educating people on the ivory trade and the elephant slaughter it causes is essential if we want to save the elephants. ”