Burn the Ivory bracelet

Mountains of elephant tusks and piles of ivory bracelets, trinkets and figurines – six tons of ivory the US government has seized over the past 25 years – will be smashed to dust by a rock-crusher this week in Denver, Colorado.

The Obama administration hopes the November 14th ivory crush will send a message to the world that the United States has made ending illegal wildlife trafficking a priority, and to inspire other countries to follow suit.

More about the Ivory Crush

“Though the crush is the first American ivory destruction, other countries have been destroying the material for some time. Over the summer, the Philippines crushed and burned 5 tons of ivory from its stockpile to prevent officials from stealing and selling the material on the black market. In 2011, the Kenyan president also burned their ivory to send a message to poachers, though fire alone doesn’t destroy the material.

Ivory has been estimated as worth more than cocaine and gold on the black market, with annual revenue of about $10 billion. Destroying the stockpiles, officials say, is intended to show poachers and traders that ultimately there is no market for the material. “There shouldn’t be a value on ivory,” Ed Grace, the deputy chief of law enforcement at the Fish and Wildlife Service, told TIME.

The American ivory stockpile represents a mere fraction of the tons of ivory that exists on the global market.

The global marketplace is dominated by East Asia, where the nouveau riche consider acquiring ivory products a status symbol and countries across Africa, where thousands of elephants have been slaughtered and funneled through organized crime groups. Traditional poachers have been replaced by dangerous organizations like the Lord’s Resistance Army in the Congo and the Somali al-Shabab that sell the ivory from elephant tusks for the purchase of weapons.

The Obama administration is hoping that their efforts, including the Executive Order issued by President Obama in early July to curb poaching and protect endangered species, and next week’s crush, will discourage the traders and encourage other countries to act.

Taken from Time Swampland article by Maya Rhodan


Ivory Memorial 

“Federal authorities plan to save pieces of crushed ivory to use in a memorial — in Washington D.C. or another appropriate location —to the tens of thousands of elephants killed by people.

Quote from Denver Post article by Bruce Finley


Win a Burn the Ivory Bracelet.

Burn the Ivory bracelet
Win the red bracelet




All you have to do to win your Burn the Ivory Bracelet is be the first person to leave a comment in the comment section of this Ivory Crush post, and then share posts on your Social Media sites.  I will see your comments, and send you an email to find out where to send the Burn the Ivory – Save the Elephant bracelet. You must be a USA subscriber to Saving Wild to win. 












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7 Replies to “Ivory Crush – First in USA”

  1. Yes, my heart aches for the elephants that have been lost, and I’d proudly wear the bracelet. Can’t believe I might actually be in line here for a gift. I was wondering where I might purchase one 🙂 Sad that all those tusks must be turned to dust, but such is the nature of being … And I suppose I’d rather them ground to shreds than worn as some trophy … Facebook/thetwistedvegan

  2. I am glad to hear of the Tusks and Ivory products are being crushed. But one thing I just cant get my head around – Why do some nations of this world stockpile Tusks and Ivory products to begin with? They are the result of catastrophic slaughter and barbaric cruelty that defies belief. Yet following court cases, where they have been used in evidence, they are then stored and this happens over a period of many years to become a high value stockpiles. The Government stockpiling Heroine, Crack, Amphetamines etc etc, would be hugely frowned upon. So – why are Tusks and Ivory stockpiled when they are linked to devastating slaughter and it is “illegal” to trade in them? I direct this at all nations, but do they stockpile Tusks and Ivory products in the off chance that the high dollar trade in Ivory will be re-opened and if thats not the case then why isn’t it destroyed the minute its use as evidence is no longer required? It should never ever be stockpiled, there is something quite sick and hypocritical in doing so…

    I do like the “Burn the Ivory” Bracelets 🙂

  3. Hi everyone who has commented so far. The winner has to also post a comment on one other elephant post and no one has done that yet, so the bracelet still awaits. 🙂
    Cam, I so agree with your comments. I have wondered this myself and do not have an answer except maybe they think the tusks can be used as evidence one day. They can now trace the DNA of the tusk to the elephant or area the elephant came from. The problem is that stockpiles can also be stolen from and used by corrupt officials to sell etc.
    But the waste of elephant life is so hard to get around.
    The other issue is how much it costs these governments to stockpile. That money could be used instead toward illegal trafficking.
    Apparently the tusks are one of many things, like tiger paws, etc that are held in this Denver area facility.

  4. Hey Lori,

    I too had figured that DNA is all they would need to potentially link other confiscations and DNA is kept on file. To keep the physical Tusk and Ivory trinkets in bulk sotrage, is hard to swallow and yes like you say – stockpiles can provide an enticing target for the criminal element. Particularly in 3rd world or poor nations where security may not be as it should. The costs to protect and store these items must be massive and you are so right that these costs could fund other areas of combating the slaughter and trade. A part of me does wonder that maybe some officials in various parts of the world, knowing the illegal market value of what they are sitting on are reluctant to destroy it because of its $$$ value. AND could be waiting for a day when CITES “may” permit another limited Ivory release and “if” a limited trade in Rhino Horn was permitted [ie: Sth Africa’s farming proposal. God forbid either happen!], would some of the Ivory & Rhino Horn stockpiles have found their way onto the open market? When it comes to the wildlife trade, the out of control slaughter, the high dollars at stake, the local and international corruption, my skepticism runs deep….. I agree- “Horrific”!

  5. I must say that 25 years was a long time to store Ivory but destroying it was a smart thing to do. It is so unfortunate that there was no other way it could have been remedied. I only pity those elephants that were killed out of greed for nature’s endowment.

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