Hillary Clinton Made a Surprise Visit to the Tribeca Film Festival As a Panelist for Kathryn Bigelow’s Elephant Poaching Film

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Photo: Monica Schipper/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton could probably spend the rest of her days walking into New York venues to the sound of shocked applause. So why not explain the connection between elephants and terrorism while she’s at it? “It” being the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Kathryn Bigelow and Imraan Ismail’s virtual-reality short The Protectors: Walk in the Rangers’ Shoes, of course. After audience members experienced the anti-poaching struggle faced by employees of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Garamba National Park via VR headsets, Clinton joined the post-film panel to discuss efforts to end the illegal killing of elephants.

While working under the Obama administration as secretary of State, Clinton said, she learned the channels through which the profits of the illegal ivory trade are currently being passed … and to whom. “It became clear to everyone that this was not just a terrible crisis when it came to the elephant population,” explained Clinton. “It was a trade, a trafficking that was funding a lot of bad folks, a lot of bad actors. It was being used to take ivory and sell it in order to buy more weapons, and support the kind of terroristic activity that these and other groups were engaged in.” As for which countries purchase the most illegal ivory, Clinton observed that the United States comes in second in the world. “China is going to be a key player but we are, too,” she noted. Clinton also took her support for the film to Twitter on Saturday, tweeting in part, “A thrill to join team of Kathryn Bigelow’s The Protectors at #Tribeca2017. Let’s protect the earth & all its beauty.”

Hillary Clinton Made a Surprise Appearance at Tribeca