Inside the Belly of the Ivory Trade

I hope you had a chance to see last night’s Battle for the Elephants on PBS.  If you missed it, there are additional showings planned. Also, I’ve got a collection of the teaser vids here, some of which include some amazing footage that didn’t make the final cut, so it’s a nice supplement anyway.  If you haven’t seen the inside of a Chinese ivory carving factory or the inside of Tanzania’s ivory storeroom, you can do it here.  Those two shots alone are first-ever windows into the belly of the ivory trade.

To supplement the Blood Ivory story, we created a Blog at National Geographic called A Voice for Elephants (AVFE).  It is intended to be a place for the world’s best thinkers and doers to have a place to share their work and thoughts.  There are a lot of organizations and websites out there and it’s hard to know where to look for information on the elephant crisis. A goal of  AVFE is to bring new ideas to the fore.  Drop by and use it as a place to begin your search and to see what’s current from experts around the globe.

Raid on Vatican, Abruzzo Ivory Shops, Religious Statues Seized

Forestry Department officials in Italy have just raided ivory shops in Vatican City and Abruzzo, seizing ivory religious sculptures. 

Here is a google translate of the press release:

These are artifacts representing religious subjects made of elephant ivory. The cost of goods for sale ranged from 400 to 40,000 euro, for a total value of more than 150 thousand euro

29 Oct 2012. Rome. Statuettes and other precious ivory objects of a religious nature, beautifully sculpted by hand, were seized by agents of the CITES Service of the Central State Forestry Corps of Rome, in an important gallery in Rome at the Vatican Walls. 


The operation is part of a wider system of checks carried out by the Forestry in some shops in the area particularly frequented by international tourists. material seized from Continue reading “Raid on Vatican, Abruzzo Ivory Shops, Religious Statues Seized” »

Pope Petition Proffered

“Ari P.” from Canada in response to Blood Ivory: Ivory Worship has launched this online petition to Pope Benedict XVI calling upon Vatican City to sign the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and end the use of ivory in religious carvings.

Now would seem an opportune time for the Vatican to lead other religions on the issue of ivory trafficking and elephant poaching, and to fortify its stated commitment to the environment. Sign the petition if you agree. Or, start your own initiative.

I have no connection to this effort btw, but if you do undertake a project like this, send me an email and I’ll be happy to post something about it.