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Stefanie Powers' Plea to Save Elephants

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Stefanie Powers has been back in her Los Angeles digs to promote the Hallmark Channel movie "Love By the Book" in which she has a role — but clearly, many of her thoughts are back in Africa, where she runs the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy. If there's anything she wants to get across right now, it's the urgency of the plight of elephants, whose numbers are diminishing at such a rate that, according to her, in less than a decade there will be no wild elephants left in Africa.

"These extraordinary creatures have a sophisticated sense of family. The old are never left alone, nor are the young. They do a better job of it than we do," declares Powers, who launched the William Holden Wildlife Foundation in 1982, in honor of the late Hollywood icon who was her longtime love, and his conservation work.

"In spite of everything that's been done — in spite of movie stars trying to bring attention to this situation, in spite of (basketball legend ) Yao Ming making a film about it ("The End of the Wild") — China won't accept they're at fault in assisting in the demise of the elephant," Powers blasts.

"No one owns these animals; they are gifts from God. It's going to take more voices to save them. Where is the outrage?!"

A self-described "activist, from the generation of activism," she's not giving up despite the fact it sometimes seems no one is listening. She and like-minded activists are advocating economic pressure — a consumer push not to purchase products made in China unless the government takes steps to staunch the flow of ivory that causes poachers to kill. "If everyone who says they love animals would circulate a petition as fast as they can, and send it to every Chinese embassy and consulate, it could make a difference."

Powers' wildlife work is "consuming," as she notes, but she certainly continues to act. With "Love by the Book" launched (repeat showings are coming up as part of the Hallmark Channel's countdown to Valentine's Day), she's focusing on plans to return to the stage both on London's West End and on Broadway later this year and next. Among the projects under discussion is a pair of Terence Rattigan one-act plays — "The Browning Version" and "Harlequinade."

She notes that it's easier to line things up on the West End than Broadway. "The economics on the West End are better."

COPYRIGHT 2015 STACY JENEL SMITH

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