These individuals wanted to be sure that their legal ivory never went back into a market, which potentially motivates people to kill elephants.
As we travel to New York City, of one thing I'm certain: All of the organizations involved intend this highly visual and dramatic destruction of ivory to be a show of solidarity with the many other countries around the world that are destroying their stockpiles in what is now a global call for increased elephant protection.
Is it a waste when we publicly destroy ivory?
I am often asked, shouldn't we sell the ivory and use those funds for elephant conservation?
To which I answer: We cannot contribute to any trade of elephant ivory, when the elephant poaching crisis today shows that the current "controlled" legal trade system does not protect elephants.
Instead, all indications are that as long as there is a legal market for ivory, the vicious supply and demand cycle will continue, more elephants will be killed and their ivory smuggled into these same markets. Ivory trade anywhere is a threat to elephants everywhere.