Italy hosts its first Ivory Crush event in Rome

April 4, 2016

A glorious event has taken place at the Circus Maximum in downtown Rome just a few days ago: the first Ivory Crush event ever taken in Italy.

A ton of ivory worth about 4.5 millions of euros was crushed in the Eternal City last week: elephant tusks and carved models, result of the illegal ivory trade and responsible for an incalculable damage to the environment, were destroyed using an industrial stone crusher and a steamroller and, finally, disposed of - permanently.

A recent investigation had linked the illegal tusk poaching trade to a Somali terror group, and a quantity seized in China earlier this March is said to be worth more than 2 millions of euros on the black market.

The Ivory Crush event, applauded internationally, was part of a joint initiative between the Italian government and the EAL (Elephant Action League), whose co-founder, Andrea Costa, declared that this illegal trade doesn’t only damages the animals and the environment - a treasure for all of us to protect: “Behind elephant poaching and ivory trafficking there is a huge human toll and corruption at all levels from money laundering to weapons trafficking, and the exploitation of entire local communities”.

The destruction of stolen ivory at the beautiful Circus Maximum in Rome was the result of a joint effort between the Italian Ministry of Environment, the Italian Forest Police, and the EAL, and government officials also welcomed Kenyan dignitaries ahead of a similar event in Africa this month.

It has to be remembered that more than 30,000 elephants are killed for their tusks in the sole Africa, every year, and that the entire African continent is fighting hard against the illegal wildlife trade that threatens the very survival of iconic species such as elephants and rhinos.

In the picture: the destruction of ivory in Rome (source DailyMail).

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