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14 Nov 2013: U.S. Crushes Six Tons
Of Illegally Trafficked Elephant Ivory

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Confiscated ivory

Julie Larsen Maher/WCS
A portion of the ivory to be crushed by the USFWS.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) destroyed six tons of elephant ivory today that field agents seized over the past 25 years. The U.S. Ivory Crush event, which took place in Denver, Colorado, marked the first time the FWS has destroyed large quantities of ivory. The move was an attempt to send a clear message that the U.S. will not tolerate illegal ivory trafficking and the toll it's taking on elephant populations in Africa and Asia, the FWS said. Seized ivory is usually kept as evidence for prosecuting traffickers, then later used for education and training, but the FWS had accumulated far more ivory than it needs. The ivory that was crushed included full tusks, carved tusks, hundreds of smaller carvings, jewelry, and other objects, and came from at least 2,000 poached elephants, the FWS estimates. More than 30,000 elephants are killed each year for the illegal ivory trade, and only about 650,000 elephants remain in Africa. A video of the Ivory Crush will be available later on the FWS website.


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