Hong Kong has become the latest area to destroying stockpiles of ivory , burning nearly 28-tons in an effort to combat illegal poaching. The local stockpile, considered to be one of the largest in the world consists of both elephant tusks and carved figurines, as well as jewelry, etc., according to authorities, who expect the project to continue through the middle of next year. After the ivory is burned, the “fine dark grey ash left will be mixed with cement and lime and dumped in a landfill,” although approximately 2 tons of the ivory will be spared for “educational or scientific purposes.” It is now estimated that more than 35,000 elephants are killed each year for their tusks, putting them in danger of extiction in the wild.
Hong Kong as long served a hub for shipments of ivory to mainland China (where demand continues to grow) from Africa. In fact, the commodity can command as much as $2,400 per kilo. Other countries that have also burned their stockpiles of ivory during the past year include the US, China, the Philipines, France and Belgium.