An unprecedented chorus has spoken for the world’s elephants: More than one million people signed a WWF petition supporting a new proposed rule from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to prevent illegal African elephant ivory from being imported and sold in the US.
Over two tons of elephant tusks, carved ivory, and trinkets in Thailand—most of it from elephants poached a continent away in Africa—made its way into a machine that ground the ivory into chips. The solemn ceremony to destroy Thailand’s illegal ivory follows a number of important laws the country passed to crack down on the illegal ivory trade.
New draft ivory regulations will significantly curtail the sale of commercial ivory in the United States and help stop wildlife crime worldwide. President Obama announced the long-awaited regulations—along with the formation of an ambitious new United States Wildlife Trafficking Alliance —on his first official trip to Kenya.
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Most people are surprised to learn that there are an estimated 5,000 captive tigers in America’. That’s more than all wild tigers across Asia. Almost 95 percent are privately owned, often by people not trained to care for animals in general, let alone tigers. Alarmingly, there is no accurate record or system to determine the actual number of tigers in the country, where they are, or what happens after they die.