More than 600kg of ivory was destroyed in front of media, diplomats and plenty of cameras today during a ceremony in Beijing aimed at publicizing the success of China’s crackdown on the illegal trade of elephant tusks.
Foreign diplomats and members of the media gathered at the scene for free food and front row seats as 662kg of engraved tusks, ivory chopsticks and figurines were fed into a giant machine and pulverized.
The public show came amid criticism from activists that authorities haven’t been doing enough to control international smuggling networks, according to AFP.
A report released by Save the Elephants and the Aspinall Foundation last December found that more than 100,000 wild elephants were slaughtered between 2010 and 2012, largely to meet the demands of China’s “out of control” ivory trade. Experts estimate that China accounts for as much as 70 percent of global demand.
The ceremony follows China’s first large-scale destruction of illegal ivory in January, during which time more than six tons of the stuff was crushed.
[Images via NetEase]