Silver Spring, MD -Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) President and CEO Jim Maddy issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) crush of six tons of confiscated illegal ivory:
"AZA applauds the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for destroying six tons of ivory to send the clear message to poaching and wildlife trafficking criminals that the United States will take all available measures to disrupt and prosecute those who prey on and profit from the deaths of elephants."
After this event, members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) will be playing a key role in engaging the public to take action. Reaching more than 180 million visitors, AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are committed to a sustained effort to stop the demand for ivory. AZA will work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to use the crushed material to create educational displays that support our ongoing efforts."
Additional information about the ivory crush can be found on the USFWS website http://www.fws.gov/le/elephant-ivory-crush.html. More facts can also be found in the Q&A section: http://www.fws.gov/le/pdf/Ivory-Crush-Q-and-A.pdf.
The 96 Elephants campaign, www.96Elephants.org, launched by the Wildlife Conservation Society and supported by AZA, asks people to sign a petition to the President requesting a ban on ivory trade in the United States.
The AZA/Animals Inc. page, www.animalsinc.net/get-involved asks people to send a letter in support of an ivory ban to your member of Congress.
AZA members participate in more than 85 elephant conservation projects in 20 countries, providing more than $26 million in support. There are 142 Asian elephants and 166 African elephants in the AZA Elephant Species Survival Plan® (SSP), providing a critical link to elephant conservation projects worldwide.
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. To learn more, visit www.aza.org.
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