‘Ivory Crush’ Held In Times Square?

Officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service destroy confiscated ivory items in New York’s Times Square on Friday.

“In Times Square, with government officials, guests and tourists looking on, an industrial rock crusher pulverized a ton of confiscated ivory,” writes the Wall Street Journal on June 23rd.

“Ivory crushes,” what the rallies like the one last week are called, are meant to raise the public’s awareness about the illegal ivory trade.

“They are done to get people to stop buying ivory and to end the killing of the tens of thousands of elephants and rhinos that are being driven toward extinction,” writes the Wall Street Journal.

Among those watching Friday were Beverly and Dereck Joubert, who are filmmakers and wildlife conservationists who have a special distinction: last April, from Botswana, they spearheaded the largest rhino airlift to date.

The couple flew the first 10 of 100 rhinos from South Africa, where poaching is soaring, to neighboring Botswana, where elephants—and now rhinos—are as safe as anywhere in Africa.

They said that “The policy in Botswana is shoot to kill,” referring to killing the poachers. “They take this very seriously, from the president and the minister of the environment, wildlife and tourism on down.”

Because of that policy, according to Mr. Joubert, Botswana holds a third of all of Africa’s elephants. An average of 34,000 elephants are killed every year to support the ivory trade, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told the crowd at the rally, writes the Wall Street Journal.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/06/19/this-is-why-the-government-just-crushed-a-ton-of-ivory-in-times-square/

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/burn-it-crush-it-the-historic-problem-of-seized-ivory

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