Ivory Crush Takes Place in NYC

The event was staged to call awareness to increased poaching that is rapidly pushing populations of African elephants, rhinos, and other species toward extinction, according to the Interior Department.

Federal officials including Interior Secretary Sally Jewell; Dan Ashe, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and R. Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, participated in June 19's "Ivory Crush" of more than one ton of confiscated ivory in New York City's Times Square. An industrial rock crusher was used to destroy the ivory.

The event was staged to call awareness to increased poaching that is rapidly pushing populations of African elephants, rhinos, and other species toward extinction, according to the Interior Department. In November 2013, the Fish and Wildlife Service crushed six tons of seized ivory, inspiring nine other countries – including China and France – to follow suit with their own crushes and burns.

Joseph Martens, who heads the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, also spoke during the event. Through the Times Square event, "we have made it clear that the illegal ivory trade is an international crisis and we must all do something about it," he said.

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