Announced during a gala event in support of the fund, the grant was part of the more than $2 million raised for the initiative's anti-poaching, anti-trafficking, and ivory-demand reduction programs. The event also recognized the efforts of Save the Elephants CEO Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton, who has spent a lifetime working to protect Africa's elephants.
To date, the Elephant Crisis Fund has helped underwrite the costs of an airplane that flies over Tsavo National Park in Kenya in an effort to detect poachers as well as sniffer dogs trained to find ivory that is being smuggled out through ports in Africa. It also has supported public service announcements in China, the world’s largest ivory market, featuring celebrities asking consumers not to purchase ivory products.
"Elephant poaching is a brutal crisis, with more than thirty thousand elephants killed last year alone," said actor and elephant advocate Leonardo DiCaprio. "The decimation of these animals is something we have the power to stop, and the Elephant Crisis Fund is a crucial part of the solution. I am honored to support them and recognize Dr. Douglas-Hamilton for his lifelong commitment to protecting this species."