*When animal activists and Internet sleuths noticed an ivory tusk on display in Jada Pinkett Smith’s #OscarsSoWhite video boycott on Jan. 18, many called upon PETA to investigate and even arrest the actress for breaking poaching laws. Some even said they were boycotting her and any project she’s associated with.
Jada quickly denied the tusk was real, a fact backed up by a 2011 Architectural Digest story on her family’s Malibu residence, MSN reports.
PETA spokesperson Lisa Lange tells THR that her organization is has no issues with Jada’s faux decor: “She has a strong love and respect for animals and helped PETA protect circus elephants in her native Baltimore by asking the mayor to enforce the bullhook ban each time that Ringling Bros. came to town. Jada has a big heart, and we’re happy that she chose vintage replicas, proving that animal parts aren’t for decoration – unless they’re faux,” she says.
— Global Elephants (@GlobalElephants) January 21, 2016
As NatGeo reports, “elephants with large tusks are increasingly rare because of heavy poaching, making them even more valuable to trophy hunters,” but ultimately, “losing even one big tusker is damaging to a herd.” Another report details how killing elephants finances terrorism in Africa.
“East Africa is now ground zero for much of the poaching. In June the Tanzanian government announced that the country has lost 60 percent of its elephants in the past five years, down from 110,000 to fewer than 44,000. During the same period, neighboring Mozambique is reported to have lost 48 percent of its elephants. Locals, including poor villagers and unpaid park rangers, are killing elephants for cash—a risk they’re willing to take because even if they’re caught, the penalties are often negligible.”
Meanwhile, FOX recently teased that Jada will return as Fish Mooney on “Gotham” at some point later this season. Her character was last seen falling into the waters of the city’s harbor during the season finale. The series has been on hiatus and will return February 29.