SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco is the second-largest market in the country for ivory trinkets.
Strong demand for ivory has led to an all-time high for elephant poaching, with 100-thousand African elephants slaughtered in just the past two years.
Oakland Zoo elephant keeper Gina Kinzley says they are slaughtered for their ivory tusks, feeding the appetite for raw ivory often linked to China.
“They’re getting their faces hacked off, and sometimes they’re still alive,” Kinzley said.
But, San Francisco is a big market for the imports, with Chinatown stores often claiming their ivory artwork are antique, or made before the 1989 global ban on elephant ivory imports.
Ivory can trade for up to $1,600 per pound.
Kenyan wildlife rangers patrol nightly to try and stop poachers armed with AK’s and poisoned darts, but the latest scientific study found that at least 96 elephants were being slaughtered by in Africa every day.
“Nobody needs ivory, except for these guys you know,” Kinzley said.
Next Saturday a global march for elephants was scheduled in San Francisco to help push for closing legal loopholes in the ivory trade.