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US destroys six-ton ivory stockpile. But will it really help?

November 17, 2013
Karen Lyons Kalmenson

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

Source News Daily

The United States has destroyed six tons of confiscated elephant ivory, in a move wildlife groups hailed as a bold message to criminal traffickers that the ivory is worthless.

The ivory stockpile was pulverized by an industrial rock crusher at a US Fish and Wildlife Service refuge near Denver, Colorado on Thursday.

The move was “a clear message that the nation will not tolerate wildlife crime that threatens to wipe out the African elephant and a host of other species around the globe,” the FWS said in a statement.

Witnesses to the event included representatives of African nations and top conservationists from around the globe.

“Rising demand for ivory is fueling a renewed and horrific slaughter of elephants in Africa, threatening remaining populations across the continent,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.

“We encourage other nations to join us in destroying confiscated ivory stockpiles and taking other actions to combat wildlife crime.”

The Philippines, Kenya and Gabon have already destroyed their stockpiles of ivory tusks and trinkets.

The US stockpile was accumulated over the course of 25 years, and was seized during undercover investigations of organized smuggling operations or confiscated at the border.

The FWS said most of the ivory, prior to being seized, was headed for illegal sale in the United States or overseas.

“By crushing its contraband ivory tusks and trinkets, the US government sends a signal that it will not tolerate the senseless killing of elephants,” said Carter Roberts, president of World Wildlife Fund.

The multimillion dollar illegal ivory trade has driven the loss of three-quarters of all African forest elephants in the past decade, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society.

“To end the elephant poaching crisis, we know that we must take a three-pronged approach: stop the killing, stop the trafficking, stop the demand,” said WCS president Cristian Samper.

The US stockpile destruction “demonstrates its own commitment to eliminating the market for illegal ivory,” he said, adding that the United States could do more, such as establish a moratorium on all ivory sales within its borders.

Experts say poachers killed 35,000 elephants last year, at a rate of 96 animals per day.

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to poachers and their lowlife customers:
My tusks are mine
They are part of my head
But humans see them
As their own, instead
Theirs to take,
For décor and such
Humans leave us alone
Thank you very much!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

21 Comments leave one →
  1. November 17, 2013 12:19 pm

    Thanks for sharing!


  2. karenlyonskalmenson permalink
    November 17, 2013 12:25 pm

    to poachers and their lowlife customers:
    My tusks are mine
    They are part of my head
    But humans see them
    As their own, instead
    Theirs to take,
    For décor and such
    Humans leave us alone
    Thank you very much!


    • November 17, 2013 12:37 pm

      Thank you, hon, I love the poem and the picture!


      • karenlyonskalmenson permalink
        November 17, 2013 3:28 pm

        You are so very welcome and thank you.


  3. November 17, 2013 12:42 pm

    this is great news-it was a long time coming. Unfortunately too many elephants had to suffer in order to get this far I hope this marks a world-wide beginning to a better world-


    • November 17, 2013 1:03 pm

      I agree, and I hope that, too. Sadly, it is my understanding that the US hasn’t banned the sale of ivory that arrived into the country before 1989, so that is one loophole that needs to be closed. But it has banned any commerce past 1989. I don’t know the details specifically, but that is the current law and hopefully helps in stopping the massacre of these magnificent animals. Thanks for your comments, Joyce.


  4. Adam Hughes permalink
    November 17, 2013 1:06 pm

    Reblogged this on Freedom for Cetaceans Writers Corner.


  5. normaluz permalink
    November 17, 2013 3:16 pm

    Good news thanks!


  6. November 17, 2013 7:45 pm

    Reblogged this on Sherlockian's Blog.


  7. narhvalur permalink
    November 18, 2013 12:40 am

    Reblogged this on Ann Novek–With the Sky as the Ceiling and the Heart Outdoors.


  8. LINDABADHAM permalink
    November 18, 2013 8:21 am



  9. November 18, 2013 12:43 pm

    Not unless there is some serious jail time associated with it!


  10. Karin permalink
    November 18, 2013 5:59 pm

    The world needs to put pressure on China and other asian countries that are still turning a blind eye to the importation and smuggling of ivory into their countries. Elephant ivory and rhino horn are ending up there for the most part. Hefty jail time and people involved losing everything may help too.


  11. Emy Will permalink
    November 20, 2013 2:19 am

    The whole ivory situation is so tragic. Hundreds of elephants would have died for that pile of ivory. Unfortunately ivory is seen as a status symbol in Asia and unless there is a mind-shift, poaching elephants will continue. As Karin says the consequences of poaching need to be severe.


  12. July 20, 2014 4:38 pm

    Thanks for any other informative blog. The place
    else may just I get that type of info written in such an ideal way?
    I have a undertaking that I am just now running on, and
    I’ve been on the look out for such info.


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