International face and uber-model Doutzen Kroes is on a mission, and she wants your help. The Dutch model was mesmerized the first time she encountered elephants in the wild. She was enthralled by their soft, silent steps and the kindness in their eyes.
Kroes is now spending a good deal of her free time trying to organize protections for the world’s dwindling population of wild elephants. The face of L’Oreal and a Victoria’s Secret angel, Kroes is one of the top five highest-paid models in the world since the mid-2000s, so she has the time and the platform to make a difference.
Earlier this year, Kroes debuted her elephant charity, Knot on My Planet, which has as its primary goal to save elephants from extinction. Already top A-list celebs, like Leo DiCaprio, and a slew of other top models, have signed on to help Kroes get the word out.
Because of how well-heeled most of the founders and participants of the organization happen to be, the group can afford to give 100% of its donations directly to causes, like Elephant Crisis Fund, which also donates 100% of funds directly toward stopping the illegal ivory trade. Kroes says the international community is “forgetting” elephants, and “if we don’t do something, they will disappear.”
During that fateful first encounter, Kroes, and her family got very up close and personal with elephants, and, she says, she discovered how like humans elephants actually are. They hit puberty about the same time as humans, they spend years learning from and mimicking their parents and other adults in tight-knit family groups, and they show obvious empathy for members of their group.
Kroes says the Elephant Crisis Fund estimates only 415,000 elephants are left in Africa. That may seem like a lot, but consider how fast the American bison was hunted almost to extinction. And there were millions of those a few decades before there were nearly none. The issue is attrition. Poachers are killing elephants faster than they can reproduce. The rest is just math. But Kroes and her colleagues are committed to making a difference.
Kroes has always been a fan of nature, but her visit to interact with the elephants helped her focus that love and turn it into a purpose…and a cause that’s gaining considerable steam. Proof that, sometimes, all you need to make a difference is the right message in the hands of the right delivery system.