Environment

New York Won’t Tolerate Ivory Poaching Anymore

Animals and humans coexist in this world. Due to our superior brain, we emerged as the more powerful species than these animals that once roamed the planet freely. Despite being monstrous creatures in size, many of these animals have gone endangered because of irresponsible human activities like poaching and hunting. These poor animals have become victims of man’s greed as they are often sold as exotic dishes or in the case of elephants, have their tusks removed for the ivory found in it.

In the “city that never sleeps”, roughly eight million worth of elephant ivory has been destroyed in the infamous Central Park as “The Ivory Crush” initiated this event. Aside from global warming, deforestation, climate change, pollution, and rapid growth of the human population, many of the world’s animal species have disappeared off the face of the planet without most of us know about it. More extinction is expected as the list of endangered species grows.

Trinkets, statues, and jewelry crafted from the tusks of at least 100 slaughtered elephants were fed Thursday into a rock crusher in Central Park to demonstrate the state’s commitment to smashing the illegal ivory trade.

The artifacts placed ceremoniously onto a conveyor belt to be ground into dust included piles of golf-ball-sized Japanese sculptures, called netsuke, intricately carved into monkeys, rabbits and other fanciful designs. Many of the items were beautiful. Some were extremely valuable.

But state environmental officials and Wildlife Conservation Society members, who partnered with Tiffany & Co. for the “Ivory Crush” of nearly 2 tons (1.8 metric tons) of ivory, said no price justifies slaughtering elephants for their tusks.

“By crushing a ton of ivory in the middle of the world’s most famous public park, New Yorkers are sending a message to poachers, traffickers and dealers who try to set up shop right here on our streets,” said John Calvelli, the Society’s executive vice president and director of the 96 Elephants Campaign. “We won’t stand for the slaughter of elephants. Nobody needs an ivory brooch that badly.”

(Via: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/nearly-2-tons-of-seized-ivory-to-be-crushed-in-central-park/2017/08/03/95f5c07a-7805-11e7-8c17-533c52b2f014_story.html?utm_term=.56db66939929)

Due to some loopholes, poachers and illegal ivory vendors still manage to sell ivory-based products to American citizens who are willing to pay the price. But now, New York is taking the initiative to show all the other US states that all sorts of ivory trade should be banned at all cost. No elephant deserves to die just so a person can have that coveted ivory brooch or a similar trinket shown off to others.

Brian Hackett, an animal-welfare activist from New Jersey, patiently awaited his turn to choose a carving from a table to be destroyed. For him, the mood was solemn.

“Every piece, no matter how polished, represents a beautiful animal that was slaughtered,” Mr. Hackett said.

The carvings were confiscated in recent ivory busts in New York. They once belonged on the faces of a least 100 slaughtered elephants. Nearly two tons of ivory worth about $8 million was destroyed at the “Ivory Crush” event, which was timed to precede World Elephant Day on Aug. 12.

In 2014, New York was among the first states to prohibit the sale, purchase, trade or distribution of items made from elephant and mammoth ivory and rhinoceros horns.

(Via: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/03/nyregion/about-8-million-of-elephant-ivory-destroyed-in-central-park.html)

The world needs to unite to protect these endangered animals from becoming extinct because when they do, nothing can ever make them come back. They’ll be lost forever like the dodo bird, the saber-toothed tiger, and the wholly mammoth among others that we know so little about yet are forever gone from this planet. Elephants are one of the most abused animals in the world. From circuses to carrying tourists to being hunted and poached, they are constantly in danger from human activities that have no second-thoughts in wiping out their entire population. They may soon perish if we don’t act now and protect them from people who don’t care whatever happens to their entire species.

Ivory poaching kills at least 96 elephants each day. Is owning an accessory made of ivory worth the lives of all these helpless and innocent animals? Meanwhile, the public is torn as to whether crushing these ivories are beneficial or is it better to sell them instead and help fund animal conservation efforts. But then, you need a hand of steel to make criminals realize that the government is not joking in its attempt to prosecute poachers, so let us wait and see if they do get the message and spare the poor elephants from their certain doom.

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