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In Photos: US Destroys Its Elephant Ivory

Historic Ivory Crush

(Image credit: USFWS Mountain Prairie)

On Nov. 14, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) destroyed its stockpile of seized ivory.

Strong Message

(Image credit: USFWS Mountain Prairie)

Destroying the ivory goods rather than selling them is meant to send a message that ivory is no longer a legitimate product to be traded or used in art. It's estimated that each year, poachers kill 30,000 elephants for their ivory tusks.

First Crush

(Image credit: USFWS Mountain Prairie)

The crush marked the first time the United States destroyed its government-held ivory stores. The event took place at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City, Colo., just outside of Denver.

Crusher

(Image credit: USFWS Mountain Prairie)

The crusher used to pulverize the 6-ton ivory stockpile.

Doomed Goods

(Image credit: USFWS Mountain Prairie)

Ivory carvings awaiting destruction on the morning of Nov. 14, 2013.

Ivory Jewelry

(Image credit: USFWS Mountain Prairie)

A huge container of ivory jewelry is hauled out to the crushing site.

25 Years' Worth of Ivory

(Image credit: USFWS Mountain Prairie)

The United States' government-held ivory stockpile was comprised of items that over the past 25 years had been seized during undercover investigations or confiscated at border crossings and other ports of entry.