In a first, U.S. officials are going to destroy their massive stockpile of illegal ivory this week, hoping to send a zero-tolerance message to elephant poachers.
On Thursday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) will pulverize nearly 6 tons (5.4 tonnes) of illegal ivory items, from whole tusks to tiny trinkets, which have been seized over the past 25 years as a result of smuggling busts and criminal investigations.
The ivory crush will take place at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City, Colo., just outside of Denver.
Seized ivory is typically kept as evidence until criminal cases are over. After that, the objects can be used to educate the public and train law enforcement officials. But FWS officials say that since the 1980s they have collected far more ivory than they need to fulfill those purposes. Thursday's event will mark the first time such a large amount of ivory is being destroyed in the United States.
For the full story, visit: http://www.nbcnews.com/science/us-destroy-6-ton-stockpile-illegal-ivory-week-2D11577322