Funnyman Ricky Gervais, nature Tv broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, and actress Joanna Lumley have called on China's President Xi Jinping to ban the country's trade in ivory.

They have signed an open letter asking the leader to outlaw the buying and selling of ivory in a bid to save African elephants from extinction, as they are often killed for their tusks.

The letter reads, "The elephants of Africa are dying in their tens of thousands every year to provide ivory for misguided consumers in China and elsewhere... Without your help, they will continue to perish and be pushed towards extinction."

British royal Prince William is set to visit the country next month (Mar15), and he is expected to discuss the wildlife trade during his trip.