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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Does Destroying Ivory Save Elephants? Experts Weigh In

Does Destroying Ivory Save Elephants? Experts Weigh In

The owners of an antiques shop in Manhattan, New York, pleaded guilty on July 26 for trying to sell $4.5 million worth of illegal elephant ivoryfrom a back room.

On Thursday, some of that confiscated Manhattan ivory and more will be crushed in Central Park as part of a public event organized by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and various wildlife groups. They hope that the crushing of nearly two tons of ivory tusks, jewelry, and trinkets will deter people from buying “white gold” and lead to the eventual shut down of the illegal trade.

At least 140,000 elephants have been lost to the ivory trade and habitat loss in less than a decade, a survey conducted in 2016 showed. International commercial sales of elephant ivory have been banned since 1990, and some countries have begun closing down domestic sales of legal ivory as well. China, the main market for ivory, announced plans to phase out domestic sales by 2018, and the U.S., another big ivory hub, limited sales of the material last year. Some U.S. states—notably California and New York—have banned sales too. (Read about how Washington, D.C., has become a new ivory hotspot).

This latest ivory destruction follows the crushing of roughly a ton of ivory 2015 in Manhattan’s Times Square and six tons in Denver in 2013. More than a dozen nations, including China, France, and Kenya, which burned 105 tons last year, have also destroyed their confiscated ivory.

Full story at

Source: National Geographic

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