ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – More than $8 million worth of artwork made of ivory was put on display this morning in Albany.
Next week it will all be publicly be crushed and destroyed in New York City’s Central Park.
Everything you see here was carved out of illegally smuggled elephant tusks.
The very public demonstration is meant to send a message against elephant poaching and ivory trafficking.
Investigators from the DEC say they seized all of this from stores down in New York City’s black market.
“Gangs, not hunters, gangs and terrorists gun down elephants indiscriminately, 96 of them on a daily basis. They use automatic weapons and any weapons they can get their hands on and then they literally tear the ivory, the tusks, out of these elephants,” Basil Seggos, Commissioner of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, said.
So why crush it and not use it for education?
Seggos says it’s dangerous enough for them to handle all of the material and putting it into a school would be far too risky.