The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has reached a significant milestone in their battle against illegal ivory trade. Commissioner Basil Seggos announced a new display has been created at the New York State Museum, displaying millions of dollars with of seized ivory.
Operation White Gold
From 2015 to 2018, the DEC's Division of Law Enforcement has worked undercover, cracking down on illegal ivory trade in New York City through "Operation White Gold". Since then, over 40 corporations and 75 associated individuals have been charged with felony-level crimes. Through intense searches, DEC Officers have seized jewelry, small statues and other ivory-made products that have contributed to the multi-billion-dollar industry.
DEC Commissioner Seggos is absolutely devastated by the widespread and endless poaching of elephants in the wild.
Imagine what 100 elephants looks like... what that looks like after the elephant poaching trade is in this room.
How much are we talking? 2 tons of ivory. All of that comes in at a street value of $12 million. The DEC destroyed most of the seized ivory during #IvoryCrush in 2017, a movement to rid of the poached material in New York City's Central Park.
Elephant Ivory Display
What's left, or more recently seized through "Operation White Gold", is now on display at the New York State Museum in Albany. The DEC hopes the display will serve as a "powerful reminder" of the devastating blow this illegal trade makes on African ecosystems.
The New York State Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 9:30am to 5:00pm. If you want to learn more about the new display or New York's ivory laws, visit the DEC's website for more information.
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