A new graphic novel about the global ivory trade and its devastating impact on elephant populations will be discussed and presented formally to the Library of Congress on June 24, by Rep. James P. Moran (D-Virginia); a Kenyan cabinet member; the Kenya Wildlife Service; and the Animal Welfare Institute.
"A Dangerous Life" is written and illustrated by award-winning Japanese American author Sheila Hamanaka, who will attend the free event at 1 P.M. on the day of publication (by Animal Welfare Institute and the Kenya Wildlife Service).
The graphic novel for young readers is about an American teenager whose family made a fortune from the elephant ivory trade in the early 20th century. She travels to Africa, where she sees wild elephants being killed for their ivory tusks. She and the Chinese and Kenyan friends she makes on her trip vow to save elephants and educate people about the devastating origin of ivory.
The issue will be discussed by:
- Rep. Moran is one of Congress' strongest advocates for animal protection. He co-chairs the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, and is the ranking Democrat on the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, with oversight of many wildlife conservation activities of the Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, among other agencies.
- Professor Judi Wakhungu, Kenya Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Water and Natural Resources.
- William Kiprono, Director General of the Kenya Wildlife Service.
- Cathy Liss, President of the Animal Welfare Institute.
A reception follows the discussion at this event in the Library's John W. Kluge Center, Room LJ 119, Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street, S.E., across from the U.S. Capitol Building.
Hamanaka's other books include "The Boy Who Loved All Living Things", about Albert Schweitzer, who built a clinic in Gabon, Africa; "The Journey", a history of Japanese people in America; "Pablo Puppy's Search for the Perfect Person", about a younger dog and an older dog in a shelter.
President Obama this year issued a "National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking & Commercial Ban on Trade in Elephant Ivory". The ban "will enhance our ability to protect elephants by prohibiting commercial imports, exports and domestic sale of ivory...This ban is the best way to help ensure that U.S. markets do not contribute to the further decline of African elephants in the wild."