"While we're sitting here at this event, about six more elephants will die. Maybe more, because they're now going after the babies as well," said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell in her remarks during the Times Square ivory crush.
Elephants are also losing their habitat due to unsustainable development practices sweeping Africa. Still, and ever more heartbreaking, baby elephants are routinely kidnapped from the wild in Zimbabwe for petty cash to foreign buyers.
Putting last week's historic crush into perspective only further increases the urgency of ending the ivory trade and protecting elephants both at home and abroad.
3. Ivory crushes raise awareness that elephants face extinction.
As intended, the Times Square ivory crush received great media coverage in the nation and around the world. It was fantastic publicity for the plight of elephants and the fight against the vicious wildlife trafficking industry.
As Secretary Jewell said, "We don't need trinkets, but we do need elephants."
Plus, last week's ivory crush was only one in a wave of crushes worldwide. In November 2013 the US Fish and Wildlife Service crushed 6 tons of ivory in Colorado. Since 2013 nations including Kenya, France, Hong Kong, the Republic of Gabon, the United Arab Emirates, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Thailand, China, and many others have staged public events to destroy ivory stockpiles.