Friday, June 26, 2015

New York City Destroys Illegal Ivory

African bush elephant

At a USFWS-sponsored event in New York City, more than one ton of illegal ivory was destroyed in Times Square in an effort to increase awareness about the continuous plight of elephants, particularly in Africa where as many as 35,000 are illegally killed every year. The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), which is completely focused on the continent's conservation issues, provided its full support at the event. Its officials indicated that Times Square is one of the most well-known and exemplary intersections of the world, and by crushing the ivory there, the U.S is giving the global elephant crisis the kind of attention it deserves. According to AWF's program director Jimmiel Mandima, the destruction of ivory in New York will show that the U.S is taking forceful action against poaching and the illegal ivory trade. Furthermore, the Congress is contemplating several bills to ban the sale of ivory and halt poaching. He further added that the battle against poaching is improvising. For example, there is a growing number of countries around the world that are taking action throughout various phases of the supply series, including the buying and selling of and demand for ivory. He also pointed out that poachers in elephant range areas are becoming more cautious in their illegal activities.
Female forest elephant with calf

New York City has just joined host of other major cities around the world to express its intolerance towards the illegal ivory trade. This was shown in one of its most iconic landmarks, Times Square, where more than one ton of illegal ivory was crushed in order to send a message that nobody should sell and trade ivory and that the U.S will not tolerate the illegal ivory trade setting foot on its grounds. Mr. Mandima pointed out that as more and more countries take action towards different stages of the illegal ivory trade, the poachers in elephant range areas become more cautious in their activities. This is why it is extremely crucial to stay one step ahead of the poachers by identifying and analyzing every secretive tactic they come up with ensure the illegal ivory trade goes according to plan. One method would be to raise public awareness about the trade and encouraging the general public to refrain from purchasing ivory products and help law enforcement agencies by reporting any stores suspected of selling ivory or other products made from endangered species. Furthermore, anyone suspected of operating the global trade in ivory and other endangered species products should be given the stiffest sentence and if necessary, the death penalty. The world needs to put the fear of God in people engaged in activities related to poaching and the illegal trade in endangered wildlife. Otherwise, more and more numbers of endangered species will drop teetering to the point of extinction.

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