Bestowed on a celebrity or public figure who has made news on behalf of animals, the award is being given to Kristin in recognition of the attention she has brought to the plight of orphaned African elephants impacted by the increase in elephant poaching for their ivory tusks. The event will be held on March 19, 2011, at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Los Angeles, Calif.
Kristin’s life-long passion for elephants gained momentum on a wildlife safari to Africa two years ago, when she discovered an abandoned baby elephant and arranged for him to be taken to the world-renowned David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which runs a unique program for rehabilitating orphaned elephants and rhinos, then gradually reintroducing them back into the wild. Inspired by the work of the Sheldrick orphanage and her beloved rescued elephant, named Chaimu, whom she “adopted,” Kristin has resolved to keep the spotlight on the dangers facing wild elephants, whose numbers in Africa have dropped from 1.2 million in 1979 to approx 420,000 in 2010. Rhino poaching is also on the rise, threatening to wipe out the endangered black rhino within a decade.
“I am so excited to receive The Wyler Award from The Humane Society of the United States, as it gives me the opportunity to keep talking about an issue that’s a profound labor of love for me,” says Kristin. “Elephants are truly amazing animals and they need our protection, and what people in this country may not realize is that they can help by not buying ivory items.”
Despite a more than 20-year-old ban on ivory imports, loopholes in the law, which permit the sale of so-called “antique” jewelry, have allowed the U.S. to become the second largest consumer of ivory, fuelling a demand that is leading to an escalation in the slaughter of African elephants.
“Kristin Davis is the embodiment of The Wyler Award,” says Beverly Kaskey, senior director of the Hollywood office of The HSUS and executive producer of The 25th Anniversary Genesis Awards. “Known for her compassion for all animals, Kristin has made elephants a primary cause, and we are proud to acknowledge her work spreading the message about a critical animal issue.”
The Wyler Award is named after former Broadway actress, animal advocate and founder of The Genesis Awards Gretchen Wyler. The Genesis Awards is the only event that honors the news and entertainment media for increasing public awareness of animal issues. Previous Wyler Award honorees are Sir Paul McCartney, Hayden Panettiere, and Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi.
The 25th Anniversary Genesis Awards will pay tribute to the best in past and present media coverage, celebrating the progress that has been made on behalf of all animals over 25 years. The event will air as a one-hour TV Special on Animal Planet in early May.
Nominees for The 25th Anniversary Genesis Awards will be announced early February.
Find out more here.