Heathrow unites for World Elephant Day

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To celebrate World Elephant Day and help stomp out illegal trade of wildlife, Heathrow has created and installed a pop-up interactive display at the airport’s Terminal 5 today.

The pop-up will be run in partnership with Border Force and IAG Cargo to support United for Wildlife’s ‘United for Elephants’ Campaign and raise awareness of critically endangered species. Heathrow will unite airport partners and travellers under a common purpose – to create a global movement for change – using interactive games and displays.
The installation will feature a limited edition Angry Birds ‘united for elephants’ game, elephant masks for kids and virtual reality headsets taking travellers to visit elephants in the Serengeti to inspire them to learn about and help protect endangered species. Representatives from Border Force and IAG Cargo will also be on hand to provide passengers with further information about elephants and illegal trade. Border Force’s CITES team will also display examples of elephant product seized at Heathrow.

Matt Gorman, Heathrow Director of Sustainability said:

“As a leading international travel hub, Heathrow has a responsibility to take the best possible care of everyone and everything that passes through our gates. We are proud to be a key signatory of the United for Wildlife Buckingham Palace Declaration and are committed to working with our partners to create a world worth traveling, for future generations.”

As part of Heathrow’s plan for sustainable growth – Heathrow 2.0 – the airport is committed to take action to help curb illegal trade in endangered species, and therefore protect the world’s precious wildlife. This event is part of that commitment and will help Heathrow to meet its ambition to ensure no illegal wildlife or illegal animal products pass through the airport.

Naomi Doak, Head of Conservation Programs, United for Wildlife said:

“Working with the private sector and in particular transport companies is crucial if we are going to break the supply chain for illegal wildlife products. The work that Heathrow, Border Force and IAG Cargo are doing on this issue provides a leading light not only in activities like this one on World Elephant Day, but also as a group of organisations from across the sector working together. It is only through effective partnerships like this that we will be able to create a future for some of the world’s most iconic species.”

Grant Miller, head of the Border Force CITES team, said:

“Although this was a fun event it had a very serious message behind it. Ivory smuggling on export from the UK is a serious contributory factor in the threat of extinction faced by many species of elephant. Border Force’s specialist CITES team takes its role in preventing illegal wildlife trafficking very seriously and, working together with our partners in the UK and internationally, we are determined to bring it to an end. We continue to work with the transport sector to develop more eyes and ears on the ground and make Heathrow an ethical gateway to the world.”

Gabriella Tamasi, Live Animal Product Compliance Manager at IAG Cargo said:

“The air cargo industry plays an important role in the protection of endangered species, we regularly transport animals protected under CITES and as a signatory to the Buckingham Palace Declaration for ‘United for Wildlife’ we are proud to be working closely with our partners to ensure that all animals are transported and treated in the safest and best possible way”.