WildAid and Grey to livestream world record ivory bonfire on Periscope and WeChat

WildAid, the wildlife conservation charity, and Grey London will tomorrow (April 30) livestream the biggest cremation of ivory in history, in an effort to put the material beyond economic use and help move a step closer to ending the trade for good.

The event in Kenya will see 105 tonnes of ivory destroyed, representing thousands of dead elephants killed over 25 years. It will be broadcast via Periscope, but also into China via Wechat, onto Shanghai’s Bund Building and by hosting a programme on mobile.

Grey London chairman Nils Leonard described the ivory burn as "a bold statement by Kenya that ivory has no value unless it’s on a live elephant - and a bold move by Grey and WildAid to hit at the heart of the world’s biggest market for ivory".

Twitter users can watch the event live tomorrow from 1pm BST (3pm Nairobi time) at the WildAid Twitter page. Supporters are also urged to attend the Facebook event, and share the trailer using the hashtag #JoinTheHerd.

Save the elephant

The #JoinTheHerd campaign launched on Chinese New Year and has since achieved 400m media impressions, 2.2m interactions on Twitter and Instagram and has won the attention of celebritiies including Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen DeGeneres, Jackie Chan, Ricky Gervais and Yoko Ono.

"The Ivory Burn is an important symbolic moment," said Leonard. "Our role is to ensure the world is watching. So we are bringing the herd to witness the ivory burn live. Via social media. All channels, but especially Twitter and Periscope on the day itself."

The film accompanying the launch has been viewed 37m times in China - a country seen as crucial in efforts to stop the trade.

"People say China won’t change," said WildAid CEO Peter Knights. "But no country has changed more in the last few years, so why can’t this? Culture is never fixed. It’s not a question of changing China, but making this part of the change. #Jointheherd is achieving this," he added.

As well as streaming the event live to WeChat, an ad will be running every 15 mins tonight and tomorrow on the digital billboard on the Bund Building in Shanghai - China's equivalent of Times Square - announcing the destruction of ivory. The ad tells people to tune in to watch it via the NetEase app and website for the live broadcast.  

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