10 tons of Malaysia’s illegal ivory has been seized and destroyed
It is estimated up to 36,000 elephants are killed annually, that’s one life lost every 15 minutes. Elephants share the same emotions and cognitive behaviour as humans. They grieve for their lost loved ones, they feel fear, joy and empathy and are highly praised for their intelligence. Though people still proceed to take their tusks and leave them for dead to sell them on the black market.
On the 14th of April 2016 the Malaysian Government disposed of almost 10 tons of confiscated illegal Ivory which would sell for $20,000,000 USD on the black market. As part of the process Striker, an Australian owned and operated company, provided a new HQR1112 track impactor crusher to crush the ivory prior to its incineration. Whilst Striker was more than happy to supply the crusher and a team of operators free of charge for such a worthy cause, they were also saddened by the whole process and left wondering what more can be done to prevent the mindless slaughter of elephants so these types of events are never required in the future.
Confronted by the whole experience the Striker team was able to physically proceed with the operations as a normal crushing process, although mentally they struggled. When operations were finished Craig Pedley commented ‘’the whole experience opened our eyes to such a huge global problem, we are very thankful the Malaysian government is taking this initiative’’. Having the tusks physically in front of the Striker team confirmed to them how large the problem really is. The process was audited by eight members of the Malaysian government from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the National Audit Department, Anti-Corruption Commission, Royal Malaysian Customs and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks. The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Dato’ Sri Azizan Ahmad reassured everyone with feelings of sadness that the utmost was being done to stop the trade on the black market when he spoke about the preventative method they are taking and how it can be implemented worldwide. Craig Pedley, Striker’s CEO further added to this sentiment saying passionately ‘’We can look back on this event and hope that in some way it was a turning point in the salvation and wellbeing of elephants, we hope for our children and grand children's sake that we see no more tusks of any animal on the black market in the near future, and this event also reminds us that we have an obligation to protect those that cannot protect themselves’’.
Crushing the ivory will not bring back an elephant’s life or change any of these horrible experiences. However it will and has stopped "people" profiting from the tusks seized, and that it ultimately ends up leading to the traffickers and poachers realising that there is neither business nor money to be made and as such saving the life of the elephants.
The things most people don’t know;
When purchasing ivory many don’t think about the process; the tusk is either broken off, which normally leads to a life threatening infection, or poacher’s use darts, poison or high-powered automatic rifles to kill the elephant. Whilst the elephant is lying wounded the tusks are usually gouged out of its skull leaving the elephant to die a slow painful death from a haemorrhage.
Striker stands firmly behind any and all governments or organisations that are taking a stand to eradicate illegal ivory trading and poaching. By taking this small step in what is a worldwide problem Striker hopes to inspire more governments, companies, individuals and organisations to make a difference. There are many other ways companies and individuals can help, if you wish to help please visit Change.org or iworry.org and together we can make the illegal trade of ivory history.