Department of Environmental Conservation

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For Release: Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Media Advisory for Thursday, August 3, 2017

New York State to Destroy More Than One Ton of Elephant Ivory in New York City's Central Park

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will destroy more than one ton of illegal ivory confiscated through state enforcement efforts over the last two years. The ivory tusks, trinkets, statues, jewelry, and other decorative items will be crushed in Central Park, New York City, Thursday while supporters gather to watch, sending a clear message that the state will not tolerate wildlife crime that threatens to wipe out Africa's elephants.

The high-profile, public event is being organized by DEC, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and Tiffany & Co.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo introduced and signed a new law in 2014 that effectively banned the sale of elephant and mammoth ivory and rhinoceros horns, and strengthened the criminal and civil penalties for buyers and sellers whose actions are endangering elephant populations worldwide. An estimated 96 elephants are killed each day in Africa due to ivory poaching.

Partnering organizations include some of the world's most prominent wildlife conservation NGOs:

  • African Wildlife Foundation
  • Association of Zoos and Aquariums
  • The Humane Society of the United States
  • International Fund for Animal Welfare
  • National Geographic
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Save Animals Facing Extinction
  • United States Wildlife Trafficking Alliance
  • WildAid

Special thanks to Emerald Equipment Systems for donating the crusher.

DEC Images: Images of confiscated ivory that will be crushed. (ZIP, 12.5 MB) (This is a large file and may take some time to download)

What: Ivory Crush in Central Park

Who: DEC, WCS, Tiffany & Co, and conservation partners

When: Thursday, August 3, 2017 at 10:30 a.m.
Media check-in begins at 8:30 a.m.

Where: Central Park, between Sheep Meadow and Naumburg Bandshell (Link leaves DEC's website.)

DEC Contact: Benning DeLaMater (518) 402-8000

WCS Contact: Stephen Sautner (718) 220-3682; cell 908-247-2585;

Important Media Note: Media requesting vehicular access and parking must RSVP to Stephen Sautner, WCS Communications: 718-220-3682; cell 908-247-2585;

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