The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced plans to crush more than six tons of confiscated illegal ivory stockpiled since the 1980’s. The federal agency and conservation groups hope that this will send a message to elephant poachers.
According to The Daily Mail, the ivory was destroyed yesterday and, along with complete tusks, included objects made from ivory like carved art, masks, and jewelry. The stockpile represented 2,000 elephants who have been killed. At the National Wildlife Property Repository, the ivory was gathered into a large pile and then dropped into a rock crusher.
Fish and Wildlife Service director Dan Ashe said, “These stockpiles of ivory fuel the demand. We need to crush the stores of ivory worldwide.” Ashe says that the stockpiles can fuel demand for ivory products. The destroyed ivory will now be a part of raising awareness about the poaching crisis, as it is sent to a museum.
Actress and outspoken advocate for elephants Kristin Davis was on hand to see the ivory destroyed. The former “Sex and the City” star helped send an orphaned elephant to a sanctuary in 2009 while in Kenya, and has since helped David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust raise funds to save these pachyderms who may soon be wiped off the face of the earth.
“I have been with these incredibly gentle and intelligent animals and felt their love and wisdom. I am terrified that the elephants will be gone, lost to evil men who are wreaking havoc on our world. Everyone will say, ‘What happened?!’ And it will be too late. We need to act now to save these animals from man-made extinction,” Davis has said.