United States Emerges as Big Ivory Market, Seeks Global Ban
Internet sales put Americans high on the list of consumers. Washington offers leadership to ban all domestic sales, build global networks of enforcement.
Decorative carved ivory was piled high for destruction at the National Wildlife Property Repository at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City, Colorado in November, 2013. It was a first public step to curb the U.S. love of ivory piano keys, letter openers, chess pieces and jewelry.
Media coverage of the Fish and Widllife Service crush was designed to call for an end to domestic sales of antique and new ivory. 'These trinkets ... actually were a function of an animal dying in the field," said a State Department official. "We have some work to do."
More than 50 nations gathered in February with Prince Charles and British Foreign Secretary William Hague to sign a pledge to prevent poaching. The hosts of the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in London said tens of thousands of elephants and more than 1,000 rhinos were killed last year.
Former National Basketball Association star Yao Ming was the headliner in an film documentary that appeals to Chinese consumers to stop collecting ivory. In his anti-poaching campaign, Ming was filmed viewing the carcass of an elephant killed for its tusks in Kenya's Samburu region.