Taegen Yardley
Youth Ambassador

I became passionate about saving elephants in 2014, at the age of 11, when I was invited to help with a bake sale that was held during a screening of the documentary “Battle for the Elephants” at the University of Vermont. The documentary “Battle for the Elephants” had an enormous impact on me and made me want to act in their defense. I spent a lot of time educating myself on the importance of keeping elephants on this planet. After seeing this movie, I testified at the Vermont State House in support of a Bill which was intended to ban the sale of ivory and rhino horn in my state. This experience motivated me to find other ways to continue to fight for the elephants. I learned about the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos which takes place, each year, around the world, on October 4th. I was inspired to start a march in Vermont. With the help of many other passionate people, I initiated the march and organized a family tee shirt making event for kids and their parents to make tee shirts to be worn at the march. I also worked with a local artist to create elephant tusks out of plaster. With the help of several students at my school, I created 96 elephant tusks which were carried in the march to represent the 96 elephants killed each day. The march was an enormous success with over 325 people attending to march as one voice with the thousands of others marching around the world on the same day.

After the march, I approached a teacher at my school. I asked him if he would be willing to make a movie with me. Fortunately, he was very excited about the idea. Together, and with the help of students at my school, we created a documentary which addresses both the humanitarian and conservations reasons as to why it is so important to end the ivory trade. This movie was shared around the world and brought me to the 2016 World Wildlife Day events at the Department of Interior and at the United Nations. The movie was also shown at National Geographic and was brought, by them, to be shown at the CITES conferences in Johannesburg, South Africa. Subsequently, I was invited to speak at the Department of Interior in Washington, D.C., at the International Conservation Chiefs Academy, where I addressed high level Wildlife Conservation Leaders from Africa and the U.S.. This experience was so inspiring and made me want to work harder for both wildlife and those who defend our planet’s amazing creatures. My most recent undertaking, again with the help of my amazing teacher and students from my school, is a new movie which addresses the most threatening causes of extinction and is a call to action for the youth of the world to rise up and make a difference. It is my hope to have my voice, and the voices of other passionate young people, heard, and to create awareness about the crisis our planet’s beautiful creatures are facing.

You can view my movies at…

Long version – “Young Voices for Wildlife”


Short version – “Young Voices for Wildlife”


Elephant Movie – “Kids Battling for a World with Elephants”


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