Acting in response to an Executive Order from U.S. President Barack Obama, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the destruction of six tons of illegal elephant ivory. The news release announcing this action was publishing on November 14.
Six tons of illegal elephant ivory confiscated by U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement officers were loaded into an
industrial-scale rock crusher and pulverized today at the Rocky Mountain
Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge outside Denver, Colo. Officials from
the departments of Justice and State joined Service Director Dan Ashe
and leading worldwide conservationists in calling for global action to
combat wildlife trafficking and stop the slaughter of elephants and
And the event, naturally enough, puts me in mind of the very touching (and beautiful) memorial we saw in the Nairobi National Park, placed there by President Daniel arap Moi back in 1989.
I had first seen the memorial back in my earlier visits to the park, and it was my good friend and driver Charles Masese, noting my particular affection and interests in the elephant, who took me specially to the Nairobi National Park to see the memorial. Back in the 1980s, Kenya led the campaign against the slaughter of the elephants for their ivory, and it was there – in the Nairobi National Park – that Kenya destroyed its own captured contraband ivory. The massive pile of ivory ash still stands near the memorial, evoking very strong feelings and horror among all visitors, to think that human beings could be so cruel and so greedy as to undertake such massive slaughter of these beautiful and majestic creatures.
Thank you to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and to our President for taking this action. The destruction of the captured ivory is very encouraging. In my opinion we as a nation are now taking a strong first step in raising awareness about the horrors of ivory poaching by evil and ignorant people. We can only hope this action changes some minds.