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The Elephant in the Room
China joins the fight against illegal ivory trade
Text by Qiu Fei


January 6, 2014: The Chinese government carries out the public destruction of confiscated ivory. IC

As ivory smuggling activities have continued increasing for decades, African elephants are now facing their severest situation ever. Poachers remove their tusks brutally, which almost always results in a bloody death.

Attempting to join many other countries in containing the problem, the Chinese government destroyed 6.1 tons of confiscated ivory on January 6 in Dongguan City of southern Guangdong Province. Carried out by the State Forestry Administration (SFA) and the General Administration of Customs, the significant move was China’s first public ivory destruction since 1949.

 “Two crushers worked simultaneously,” an on-site employee revealed. “Smaller crude tusks and crafted ivory pieces were dumped into machines and ground up, while huge tusks had to first be cut into smaller pieces with a chainsaw.”

According to the SFA, some of the pulverized ivory will be taken to museums to raise public awareness about wildlife protection. The rest will be stored and kept by the government.





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