Elephant poaching has become an increasing problem. In many parts of Africa, poachers are killing elephants for their ivory. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora filed a report in 2012 that elephant poaching was at its highest level in 10 years and rising.
Ivory is the number one reason for ivory poaching and has caused the elephant population to be reduced to dangerously low levels. There are very few African elephants living in the wild today and as poaching increases, the elephants population grows smaller.
In order to make a zero-tolerance statement to poachers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to crush almost 6 tons of ivory that belongs to the U.S. This ivory was seized from poachers and smugglers over the last 25 years and is usually saved as evidence.
“Destroying this ivory tells criminals who engage in poaching and trafficking that the United States will take all available measures to disrupt and prosecute those who prey on and profit from the deaths of these magnificent animals,” FWS officials said.
Once the ivory is crushed, it will be used to inform the public and eduate them on ivory smuggling and ivory posting. The ivory will be crushed at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City, Colorado. There is no word on where the crushed ivory will be held until it can be used for its intended educational purposes.
Image from Flickr.