Skip to comments.U.S. Crushes 6 Tons of Ivory to "Send Message" to Poachers
Posted on 11/17/2013 5:53:08 AM PST by Kaslin
Here's an interesting video of the US taking 6 tons of confiscated ivory to Africa to crush it. The purpose was to "send a message" to poachers.
The entire worldwide elephant population is 500,000. They are vanishing at a rate of 50,000 per year, just for their ivory.
A couple of people sent me this video, Reader Michael was first.
Link if video does not play: U.S. crushes 6 tons of confiscated ivory to send message to poachers
Africa's elephants are being slaughtered at a record pace by poachers who hope to get rich by selling their ivory tusks.
The U.S. has been trying to stop it. And today the feds sent a powerful message -- by gathering all the ivory they have seized in the past quarter-century and bringing it to a wildlife refuge in Colorado.
Where millions once roamed free across Africa, the numbers of elephants have plummeted because of poaching to about 500,000.
Poaching was the source of six tons of illegal ivory confiscated by U.S. officials, from raw tusks to exquisitely carved statues.
Robert Ruggiero, who runs the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's anti-poaching effort in Africa, says the poachers will stop at nothing to get the ivory tusks. "Even poachers who are killed are readily replaced. There's an endless supply of people willing to take those risks," Ruggiero said.
The soaring demand comes mostly from newly rich Chinese, who see ivory as a status symbol. A pound of ivory now sells for more than $1,000 on the streets of Beijing.
1 ton = 2,000 pounds
6 tons destroyed
Street price = $1,000 pound
6 * 2,000 * $1,000 = $12,000,000
$12 million dollars is not a lot to the U.S. But it is a lot to Kenya.
Carved ivory is surely worth a lot more than raw ivory. 10 times more? I don't know.
Unfortunately there was no breakdown of how much carved ivory was crushed, but the video showed rooms of it being boxed for destruction. For the sake of argument, let's just assume the entire lot could have fetched $50 million at auction.
I have a simple question: What if instead of crushing that ivory, the US auctioned the ivory with all proceeds going to African nations for anti-poaching efforts?
How many people could Kenya have hired for $50 million? Wouldn't that have done more for the elephants than crushing it?
When the supply is dramatically diminished, what is likely to happen to the value of the remaining product? I wonder if the poachers have done the math.
Ivory is NOW 10,000 dollars a pound..
Ivory is NOW 10,000 dollars a pound..
I couldn't help but wonder if there isn't some practical use for crushed ivory..
Auction off the ivory. Then use the money to hire armed guards to protect the elephant herds. That would make more sense.
Maybe not, but I think the US has some capitalistic fingers in this "Damn those poachers to hell" pie.
Auction off the ivory.
This would reduce the demand, lower the prices and make raw ivory less valuable.
The left fails at math again. Perhaps, spending the money to flood the market with good fake ivory would be a real message.
What part of rarity of commodity do these socialists fail to understand?
The poaching problem could be solved with industrious husbandry.
Use of the entire elephant could provide a wide variety of products.
I would prefer they put the ivory back on the elephants.
It’s the same satanic-minded spirituality that led Obama to destroy perfectly good cars because their fuel mileage was not good enough (disregarding how the cars might be used).
Why not give the ivory back to Africa and let them decide what to do with it.
How about a market solution allowing private individuals to outright own elephants and attendant ivory products?
Among other things, instead of finding dead elephants one would be finding dead poachers.
This would have been more normal anyhow. Usually when something that violates customs is confiscated, they don’t destroy it; in fact usually the customs official who caught it gets to keep it.
Also, naturally deceased elephants could have ivory taken; RF tag live elephants and just wait till they aren’t moving any more.
And just made the ivory NOT in the governments possession more valuable.
The USA Is Now Governed By Clueless Idiots.
I hate this. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
In a supply/demand economy these jerks just reduced the supply and did nothing to reduce demand.
The end result of destroying “old” ivory is to increase pressure to harvest more “new” ivory, not less.
Well, it sent a message to poachers: The price of ivory will be going through the roof, so you need to do more of the sorry trade you are doing.
There are always unintended consequences in the world of central planning. Perhaps that thought could be best expressed thusly, "unrevealed consequences.
A consequence, unrevealed or unintended, is that the U.S. creates employment for people whose continued employment is dependent on continued ivory poaching.
(Chuckling) That so!
One of the most stupid messages ever sent.
The message sent to poachers was we destroyed the Ivory you already sent here and got paid for, so go out and get some more.
The poachers already got their money. How stupid and wastfull.
That phrase reminds me of the number of square miles of rain forest being cleared in Brazil. It's very measurable but will likely not reflect reality. Just like Brazil deforestation, the calculated rate of demise will reach 0 long before the reality.
Making it easy to multiply legitimate ivory sources would be a better approach. How many elephants die naturally and their tusks never get used?
And it’s worth more, now!
Another moment when the word government means something a bit less complimentary.
Y'owe me a keyboard Laz ... go to church and confess the stumbling block you put in front of your brother.
The poachers already made their money, they don’t care what they do with the ivory.
The middle man might be PO’d, but not the poachers.
50,000 elephants’ worth of ivory is how much ivory? Where is it going? I know it sure isn’t becoming piano keys.
I wonder if our scientists can come out of their, er, “ivory towers” and figure out how to get the world more ivory without reducing the world population of elephants.
Some of the reports coming out of Africa indicate that much of this ivory poaching is done by the same agents the government hired to protect these elephants.
A smarter thing to do would be to dump it all on the market at once, which would depress prices and make ivory hunting less profitable
The Regime has made up its mind, don’t confuse them with logic.
By the way, did you know that you can legally purchase a chess set made out of mammoth ivory? (http://www.houseofstaunton.com/chess-pieces/luxury-wooden-chess-pieces.html?src=left). I guess that now that the species is extinct, what’s the difference? It will only set you back thirteen grand.
Woolly Mammoth ivory is unearthed all the time in Alaska and Siberia. It is legal to sell and trade since the woolly mammoth is not an endangered species. Though the tusks look different, it’s very hard to tell if a carved object was made from elephant ivory or wooly mammoth ivory.
Extending your idea, have elephant ranches. Every so often, tranquilize an elephant, trim off the end of his tusks, sell the ivory, use the money to pay for guards.
Have the local government declare the elephant preserves to be free-fire zones, wherein any trespassers may be shot on sight. I'm sure they could even sell tickets to some people to be "poacher hunters", with the right to hunt down and kill poachers for sport.
All this does is make the next batch of ivory of greater value. I just read the long CNN article on Ted Turner. The man has a lot to answer for but he did bring the bison back from extinction. He made them profitable. I’ve long believed that the way to save the elephant is to harvest the ivory and try to somewhat domesticate the beast. The day of massive herbivores roaming the romanic plains is over. Instead, encourage them to live in certain areas and market their ivory to pay the cost. I haven’t worked out how you convince the huge bull elephants to let us cut off their tusks but I’m sure that there’s some way to do that. LOL
Elephants managed on private ground with the owners allowed to raise them for ivory would get adequate protection from poachers.
Sounds like the actions of some 7th century cult. You know, the ones who couldn't build the Trade Towers, so in anger they destroyed them.
Lemmie see, now................
Decreases demand??? Reduces supply??? Mr. Friedman, call your office.
The US Federal Government is a hammer and everything and everyone in the world looks like a nail. This government does nothing with finesse.
“When the supply is dramatically diminished, what is likely to happen to the value of the remaining product? I wonder if the poachers have done the math.”
Exactly. This is startlingly similar to the gun destruction of gun “buy backs”.
Insane waste to make nonsensical political statements.
As stupid as the car crushing...Sell the damn stuff on a one time basis. You can be certain that this as all been pilfered over the years...and those wonderful museum people and archeologists have Swiss bank accounts.