Actress Kristin Davis, co-star of the show Sex and the City, traveled to Kenya a few years ago for a safari. A ranger approached her vehicle and asked if they'd seen a baby elephant, so the whole truck stayed with the rangers for two days helping look for the baby. They finally found her among lava rocks, scared and angry, and had to cover her eyes and practically tackle her to get her safe. They gave her water, moistened her skin and transported her back to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, where she'd be cared for.
The rangers who approached Kristin's truck did so not because they thought approaching a celebrity would help, but because they simply needed more eyes. In fact, they didn't know she was a celebrity. It took DSWT a few weeks to realize who she was. Kristin Davis adopted the baby elephant she helped find, who was named for the area they found her, for $50, getting her email updates as to the elephant's health.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust takes in orphaned elephants, most of whom are orphans because their mothers were slaughtered for their ivory tusks, and raises them to be released back into the wild. Some of the adult elephants actually come back to the reserve on occasion for a visit.
Oh, and Kristin Davis is also an advocate of women's rights. While her character in the TV series would get into the gritty details of her sex life, the actress laments that there are so few shows on TV that star women that each one still gets compared to Sex and the City, which ended 8 years ago. She does Broadway now, has adopted a baby girl, and has become the public face of the Wildlife Trust. She feels strongly about women's health issues and women's rights; she wants to raise her daughter to grow up in a world where there are not only elephants but complete freedom for women. Surely having played such a liberal, confident woman for so many years has helped shape her own beliefs and ideals (or did her beliefs and ideals shape the character?), but to have a show that starred and focused almost entirely on women be as popular as it was encouraged the teens and young women watching it to pursue their dreams.
Kristin Davis has done a lot to educate herself on the plight of elephants over the last few years and has compared buying ivory to buying blood diamonds, bringing something people widely regard as into the spotlight, using terms they recognize and understand. She's trying to bring attention to the severity of the problem (elephants could be gone in less than 10 years), describing the scenes she herself has witnessed (an elephant's head hacked off after it had been chained to a tree and left to die, with another not a half mile away).
"You want gritty details?" She asks, fully prepared to give journalists the shock they're looking for.
Oh yeah, and she's also passionate about women's issues and laments that there aren't enough shows about women. I don't think I could like a celebrity any more.