a message to ivory traffickers
On Friday June 19th 2015 one ton of confiscated ivory is going to be crushed in the centre of Times Square, New York City. This meaningful and thought-provoking event is being carried out by The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other organisations as a way of sending a message to both ivory traffickers and those who buy from them that these acts are not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
By choosing such a high profile setting for the crush the aim is to raise awareness not just in America but all around the world. This awareness is vital as elephant poaching in Africa is devastating the elephant population. The speed at which elephants are being slaughtered is now faster than they can reproduce - almost 100 elephants every day and 35,000 a year are being killed. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) estimates that an elephant is killed every 15 minutes.
This is not the first time an ivory crush has taken place; Kenya was the first country to destroy 12 tonnes of ivory in Nairobi National Park and the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service organised a similar event which took place in Denver, Colorado in 2013 where six tonnes were destroyed. There is a huge demand for ivory all around the world although specifically in the US, China, Thailand and Vietnam. Over the past four years the price of ivory has almost tripled with the price of raw ivory in China reaching $2,100 per kilo.