Did you know an elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its tusks? This sad reality is fueled by the illegal ivory trade, which is why so many poachers go after elephants. But guess what? New Yorkers aren’t putting up with it anymore.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation just destroyed two tons of confiscated illegal elephant ivory in New York City’s Central Park. This ceremony is designed to raise awareness of the poaching crisis and ivory trade. The ivory that was crushed came in many forms, such as trinkets, jewelry, and even statues.
You can watch this unique protest below (it was recorded live. The video lasts around 21 minutes).
LIVE: TWO TONS of Ivory Crushed in NYC Central Park | The Dodo
These trinkets, statues, and jewelry pieces were all crafted from the tusks of some 100 slaughtered elephants. Some were exquisitely carved artworks. But no matter how beautiful they were, all of them cost a life. This ivory crush was New York’s way of saying they don’t support the illegal trafficking of elephants. The ivory was destroyed via a rock crusher, the only thing that could break ivory perfectly.
In the video above, several people placed their ivory belongings on a conveyor belt. The ivory rode up the conveyor and into the crusher where it was smashed to pieces. Officials said $8.5 million worth of ivory was crushed today. All of it was artifacts seized from dealers within the last three years.
The articles included more than $4.5 million worth of items seized from Metropolitan Fine Arts & Antiques in New York City in 2015. The store’s owners pleaded guilty to illegally selling ivory last week and agreed to donate $200,000 to nonprofits that protect elephants. Hopefully, it will do some good and they’ve truly learned from their mistakes (and won’t relapse).
This event was sponsored by state environmental officials, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and Tiffany & Co.
What you can do:
Please don’t buy anything made with ivory, if you see it. Avoid it like the plague .Also, please consider supporting nonprofits like Bloody Ivory and IFAW. You can donate to their causes, sign petitions, and read up on the latest ivory news on their sites. If you’d like to take things a step further, contact a local official and let him know you think more action should be taken to stop poachers. However, no matter what you decide to do, please share this article to spread awareness. Elephants need you!