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6 tons of seized ivory crushed in Denver

By: STEVEN K. PAULSON, Associated Press
November 14, 2013 Updated: November 14, 2013 at 3:22 pm
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photo - Steve Oberholtzer, a special agent for the Fish and Wildlife Service, talks about ivory poachers as he is surrounded by tons of ivory at the the National Wildlife Property Repository at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge near Commerce City, Colo., on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. Over 6-tons of ivory tusk and carvings worth millions of dollars that will be crushed at the facility on Thursday. The items were seized from smugglers, traders and tourists at U.S. ports of entry after a global ban on the ivory trade went into effect in 1989. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
Steve Oberholtzer, a special agent for the Fish and Wildlife Service, talks about ivory poachers as he is surrounded by tons of ivory at the the National Wildlife Property Repository at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge near Commerce City, Colo., on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. Over 6-tons of ivory tusk and carvings worth millions of dollars that will be crushed at the facility on Thursday. The items were seized from smugglers, traders and tourists at U.S. ports of entry after a global ban on the ivory trade went into effect in 1989. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski) 

COMMERCE CITY — U.S. officials have destroyed more than 6 tons of confiscated ivory tusks, carvings and jewelry to send a message against elephant poaching that has reached record levels.

The pyramid-shaped pile of ivory 10 feet high was dumped into a massive steel rock crusher Thursday at a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service facility outside Denver.

The ivory tusks, statues and jewelry were confiscated by federal agents around the country. Officials say it was the bulk of the U.S. "blood ivory" stockpile.

A parade of speakers, including Fish and Wildlife director Dan Ashe, urged other countries to destroy their own ivory stockpiles to send a message that condemns rampant elephant poaching.

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