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Two Wyoming Kid Conservationists Headline Event to Save African Elephants

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Two Wyoming children are leading the charge against African elephant poaching. 

The Tooth Fairy Project is an elephant conservation event in Jackson on Saturday and Sunday. Two Jackson children, 11 year old Lily Marvin and 9 year old Alex French are headlining they event after they caught a filmmaker’s attention because of their passion for saving elephants.  The filmmaker is creating a documentary called Elephant Daze about elephant poaching and plans to incorporate the children into the documentary.

Lily Marvin says that she became interested in elephants in school, when she had to write a persuasive essay. She liked elephants and then found out how  important elephants are to their ecosystems, and how quickly they are being killed. “So last year,” she says, “25,000 elephants were killed that year, but this year it was 35,000 elephants. So they killed 10,000 more elephants than they killed last year. bThat’s really bad.”

Marvin says elephants are important to their ecosystems and could go extinct soon at the rate they’re being killed for ivory. She says it’s especially important that kids speak up.

When asked why, she says, “They have more creative minds and young minds than the grownups, so I think they can think of more possible ways to help.”

The event will be held at the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts on Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 4. There will be kid-friendly art, science, and activism.

Erin Jones is Wyoming Public Radio's cultural affairs producer, as well as the host and senior producer of HumaNature. She began her audio career as an intern in the Wyoming Public Radio newsroom, and has reported on issues ranging from wild horse euthanization programs to the future of liberal arts in universities. Her audio work has been featured on WHYY Philadelphia’s The Pulse and the podcast Out There.
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