In light of the global demise of elephants and rhinos, many countries have made a symbolic gesture of commitment by destroying their ivory stockpiles. China, the United States, Kenya, France, the Philippines, Gabon and Hong Kong have all taken part. While some see this as a celebratory gesture, it is contested by others. The price tag for a kilo of ivory on the black market is worth over $1800 USD, which makes your average elephant worth about $18,000. A kilo of rhino horn can fetch $65,000 USD, making the average rhino worth $130,000.
Imagine how much one country's stockpile may be worth. When the U.S. destroyed it's six-ton stockpile, it was like destroying approximately $9,800,000 USD. Could that money have been sold to China, raising money for conservation? Or would it have simply fueled demand, bringing a quicker end to our imperiled elephants? There are arguments on both sides.