Home > Animal Rights, Enviroment, Politics > Ivory prices hit new low

Ivory prices hit new low

The Thursday, March 30 New York Times front page pointed to a page 8 story titled, “Ivory Prices May Mean a Reprieve for Elephants.” The article, by Jeffrey Gettleman, opens with:
“The price of ivory in China, the world’s biggest market for elephant tusks, has fallen sharply, which may spell a reprieve from the intense poaching of the past decade.

“According to a report released on Wednesday by Save the Elephants, a respected wildlife group in Kenya, the price of ivory is less than half of what it was just three years ago, showing that demand is plummeting.

“Tougher economic times, a sustained advocacy campaign and China’s apparent commitment to shutting down its domestic ivory trade this year were the drivers of the change, elephant experts said.”

Then today’s Friday, March 31 New York Times included an article, by Jim Dwyer, titled, “A Colossal Step in the Pursuit of Ivory Sales.” (Page A18.) It opens with a description of an attempt by US dealers, at Landmark Gallery, to sell off banned elephant ivory under the guise of ivory from extinct mammoths. It restates the wonderful news about the halving of the wholesale ivory price in China over the last year, and shares the following important information with readers who may not know much about ivory:

“Ivory comes from the elephant tusk, an incisor tooth that can grow to more than 10 feet. The quickest way to get it is to kill the elephant, hack the tusk from its head and put the ivory into the hands of middlemen who deliver it as a raw material for carvers. Thus, the largest land creatures on earth, which are thought by some to mourn the deaths of other elephants, were being killed by the tens of thousands every year for whatever human vanities could be satisfied by trinkets and baubles. All that remained of a 13,000-pound mammal would be a few delicate ounces of ivory, displayed under glass in the windows of Midtown Manhattan.”

And it ends with this good news:

“For its crimes, Landmark also had to pay $50,000 to Ms. Hapgood’s group, the Wild Tomorrow Fund. The state says it will help pay for gear and training for rangers fighting elephant and rhinoceros poachers in southern Africa.”

You’ll find Thursday’s article on line at http://tinyurl.com/kg6ugk3 and Friday’s at http://tinyurl.com/k7os4n5

They open the door for letters to the editor about ivory, or any aspect of our relationship with other species. The New York Times takes letters at letters@nytimes.com

I send thanks to my new housemate, Clive Whitmore, a New York Times subscriber who made sure I saw the ivory story noted on yesterday’s front page. 

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