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World to march for elephants and rhinos

Elephants at Amboseli national park against Mount Kilimanjaro

Elephants and rhinos could be extinct within two decades, campaigners are warning ahead of marches across the world to call for greater protection for the two species.

Thousands of people are expected to take to the streets in Europe, the US, South America, Africa and Asia for the Global March For Elephants And Rhinos on Saturday.

Wildlife campaigners warn that, with around 35,000 elephants and 1,000 rhinos killed each year as demand for ivory and rhino horn drives spiralling rates of poaching, both species are potentially within two decades of becoming extinct.

The global march is calling for measures to tackle the problem, including a full worldwide ban on the trade of ivory and rhino horn.

Campaigners are also calling for ivory and rhino shops and carving factories to be closed down with immediate effect, implementation of tougher penalites for wildlife crime, and urgent strengthening of law enforcement in the countries where the animals are found and the products are being consumed.

Sir David Attenborough, Sir Richard Branson, Rory Bremner, Joanna Lumley, Stephen Fry, Ricky Gervais, Damon Albarn and Michaela Strachan are among the high-profile names who have given messages of support to the march.

Hundreds of people are set to march through London wearing elephant and rhino masks. (PA)



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