US officials are destroying more than six tons (5.4 tonnes) of confiscated ivory tusks, carvings and jewellery, the bulk of the “blood ivory” stockpile to support the fight against a $10bn (£6bn) illegal global trade that slaughters tens of thousands of elephants each year.
Officials will use rock crushers to pulverise the stockpile, accumulated over the past 25 years, at the National Wildlife Property Repository, north of Denver, on Thursday. The US Fish and Wildlife Service will donate the crushed ivory particles to a museum to be determined for future display.
More than one ton of confiscated ivory is destroyed at an event in Times Square in New York, in an effort to raise awareness of elephant poaching and the illegal ivory trade. The ivory was seized from dealers and retailers in New York and Philadelphia. Around 35,000 elephants are killed every year for their ivory, according to the US Fish & Wildlife Service.
Some 6.1 tonnes of ivory is burned in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Friday as part of efforts to deter poachers. The country has lost 90% of its elephant population in the last thirty years and the ivory was destroyed in an attempt to reduce the demand for it. The tusks, carvings and jewellery was confiscated from traffickers travelling to Asia from the Ethiopian capital.
Work begins on destroying 28 tonnes of elephant tusks over the course of a year in move to combat illegal wildlife trade.