Ivory crushed in Central Park to raise awareness for elephant poaching, advocates say

The ivory sculptures are valued at more than $8.5 million, including $4.5 million worth seized from a midtown store, the DEC said.

Nearly two tons of ivory tusks and trinkets that were confiscated in New York were destroyed in a rock crusher in the middle of Central Park on Thursday.

The 5,000 illegal ivory items, which including statues and jewelry, were seized by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, which organized Thursday’s event with the Wildlife Conservation Society.

In total, the items are valued at more than $8.5 million, including $4.5 million worth of products from one midtown store, a spokesman for the DEC said.

At least 95 percent of the items were seized in New York City, he added.

New York restricted the sale of ivory in 2014, only allowing those with specific permits to sell it legally.

“The event will send the world a clear message that the U.S. will not tolerate wildlife crime that threatens the extinction of Africa’s elephants,” the DEC and WCS said in a statement.

An estimated 96 elephants are killed for their ivory tusks every day in Africa, according to the WCS.

Nicole Brown