Elephant ivory confiscated by U.S. authorities since 1989, when the global ban went into effect--all 6 tons of it--was crushed to smithereens last week (on Nov. 14, 2013) at the National Wildlife Property Repository outside Denver. The smashed pieces of tusks, carvings, masks, bowls and jewelry will be donated to a museum to be displayed. The confiscated ivory represented the killing of over 2,000 elephants. It was meant as a message to consumers more than poachers, who are taking more each year. The demand for ivory pieces is high in the United States, but higher in other countries. Black-market ivory sells for about $1,300 a pound. We think it's too bad that the illegal ivory, some of it beautiful art, could not be sold to raise money for anti-poaching groups. Some of the pieces might have gone into art museums, historical societies and natural history museums.
Photo: Joe Amon, The Denver Post