Wildlife groups call on Hong Kong to create new Chinese character to write out ivory trade

As we found out this week when Chinese state media incorrectly reported that President Xi Jinping had resigned, it’s of utmost importance to get your Chinese characters right.

Now in a bid to ensure elephants aren’t written out of the world’s ecosystem, WWF-Hong Kong and Geometry Global have combined forces to call for the creation of a completely new Chinese character.

The newly launched campaign “Rewrite Their Futures” encourages Hongkongers to invent a new Chinese name for “ivory” that accurately depicts the cruel nature of tusk extraction.

The current name (象牙) simply translates to “elephant teeth”, which the wildlife groups say misleads (some pretty ill-informed) people into thinking the tusks simply fall out causing no harm to the elephant.

Hongkongers can submit their suggested characters via the campaign website and add their names to a petition urging the government to prohibit the city’s ivory trade.

The groups plan to push the campaigns in schools, shopping malls and on social media before the petition is presented to the government early next year.

Cheryl Lo, Senior Wildlife Crime Officer for WWF-Hong Kong, highlighted the gravity of the situation:

“The ivory trade is the primary driver for the killing of over 30,000 elephants a year; if actions are not taken soon, this majestic species can be extinct within our lifetime.”

Get creative, Coconauts.

Related articles:

Maasai tribesman leads Hongkongers in protest against ivory trade

Motion for tougher crackdown on ivory trade gains ‘overwhelming support’ from lawmakers

Got a tip? Send it to us at hongkong@coconuts.co


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