DSWT Joins Thousands to Say NO to ivory
In an effort to raise awareness of the current elephant poaching crisis and the illegal ivory trade, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) Patron Kristin Davis and US Executive Director, Melissa Sciacca joined U.S. and state government officials, wildlife conservation agencies and thousands of spectators as more than one ton of confiscated ivory was crushed on Friday 19 June in Times Square, New York.
The ivory, which was seized from dealers and retailers in New York and Philadelphia, was destroyed to send a strong message that the US will not stand idly by while organised crime syndicates and all those implicit in the illegal ivory trade profiteer off the brutal decimation of a species. Ivory’s only value is to an elephant. DSWT Patron Kristin Davis said that, at the current rate, elephants will soon become extinct in the wild if nothing is done to combat the current poaching crisis.
“That was an elephant’s mother, or father,” said Ms. Davis. “It’s hard to talk about, but we have to. Never buy ivory, even if it’s ‘antique.’ These things come from living animals. In ten years, if we don’t do anything, there may not be any more elephants, which means that our children will never know that elephants roamed the planet in the wild as they should.”
An estimated 36,000 elephants are killed every year for their ivory. That equates to one every 15 minutes. If this rate of poaching is allowed to continue it will render the species extinct within 10-15 years.
“Sadly, tourists don’t realize that by purchasing that small trinket, you’re fueling the demand for poaching,” said Melissa Sciacca, Executive Director of the U.S. Friends of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. “The United States has one of the largest markets for ivory. This symbolic event, combined with state and federal laws, will send a message that the United States will no longer be a part of this global poaching crisis.”
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust embraces all measures that compliment the conservation, preservation and protection of wildlife. These include anti-poaching, safeguarding the natural environment, enhancing community awareness, addressing animal welfare issues, providing veterinary assistance to animals in need, rescuing and hand rearing elephant and rhino orphans, along with other species that can ultimately enjoy a quality of life in wild terms when grown.
“Not only does this event symbolize a memorial for many of our orphans’ ancestors and family members, it also sends a very clear and concise message that ivory belongs only to elephants,” said Ms. Sciacca.
Be a part of the DSWT’s iworry campaign and use your voice for elephants.