United States crushes two tonnes of ivory in New York's Central Park

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 3, 2017

Almost two tons of ivory was destroyed by a rock crusher in New York City's Central Park on Thursday, marking the state's efforts to stop the illegal ivory trade.

It is all being fed into a rock crusher and turned to dust.

"These crushes raise awareness", John Calvelli, a spokesman for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which runs the city's zoos, told New York Daily News.

"The battle against elephant poaching is far from over, but NY is showing the world that it is serious about stopping the killing, stopping the trafficking, and stopping the demand", Calvelli said in a statement.

The event Thursday is created to demonstrate the state's commitment to smashing the illegal ivory trade.

"We're sending a message to the rest of the world". "Crushing the ivory shows that the ivory has no value, so people can stop killing the elephants".

A similar ivory crush was held in NY in 2015.

Moving quickly to destroy their wares, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance is teaming up with the state's Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos to make sure the 126 artifacts never hit the underground market again.

Kenyan paleoanthropologist and conservationist Richard Leakey began the practice of burning ivory to discourage the trade in 1989. China remains the largest market, with the United States in second place.

Calvelli said the three largest markets in the United States - California, Hawaii and NY - have fundamentally closed in recent years.

Elephant tusks are highly prized, particularly in Asia, where they are carved into ivory statuettes and jewellery. There are 400,000 African elephants remaining in the wild.

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