Sri Lankan authorities begin destroying seized ivory

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- Sri Lankan authorities on Tuesday began destroying a shipment of African ivory seized three years ago, following a ceremony at which Buddhist monks gave the slaughtered elephants blessings for a better rebirth.

See Full Article

The ivory was traced to northern Mozambique and Tanzania and has been valued by Sri Lankan customs at 368 million rupees (more than $2.5 million). Officials said the ivory, which was seized at Colombo's port, was being transported to Dubai through Kenya and Sri Lanka.

The destruction took place in an elaborate ceremony in Colombo attended by politicians, officials and diplomats.

The 359 tusks weighing a total of 1,529 kilograms (3,370 pounds) were crushed by machines into smaller pieces that will later be burned to ash in high-temperature ovens at a cement factory.

Before the crushing, Buddhist monks chanted blessings to make merit for the elephants so they could have a better rebirth.

John Scanlon, secretary general of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, was among those who participated in the ritual, which is usually performed by family members at Buddhist funerals.

Scanlon said the approximate value of the annual illegal trade in wildlife worldwide is $20 billion. The figure excludes timber and marine trade and mostly consists of ivory and rhino horns.

"Today's event also provides a very public opportunity to warn those people who trade illegally in ivory that the age and origin of the contraband can now be readily identified through the use of modern forensics, making prosecution and conviction far more likely," Scanlon said in a speech.

"Illegal trade in ivory is shifting from high profit, low risk to high risk, low profit," he said.



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • 'Monster bird' fossil found in New Zealand

    Tech & Science CTV News
    The fossilised bones of an ancient penguin the size of a pro-wrestler have been discovered in New Zealand, scientists said Tuesday, dubbing the creature "monster bird." With an average height of 1.7 metres (5.5 feet) and a weight of 100 kilogrammes (220 pounds), the giant bird is thought to be one of the world's biggest extinct penguin species, easily dwarfing its cuddly-looking modern descendants. Source
  • North American birders flock to N.B. tree after rare bird from Europe spotted

    Tech & Science CTV News
    MIRAMICHI, N.B. -- New Brunswick has a rare visitor from Europe and it's attracting bird lovers from across Canada and the United States. A European mistle thrush arrived in Miramichi on Saturday, and decided to stay. Source
  • Birth of new island could help search for life on Mars: NASA

    Tech & Science CTV News
    NASA researchers are studying the formation of a new Pacific Ocean island in order to find clues for where to search for past life on Mars. Located in the South Pacific nation of Tonga, Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai began forming after the eruption of an underwater volcano in Dec. Source
  • Fetid attraction: London fatberg to go on museum display

    Tech & Science CTV News
    LONDON -- Part of a monster fatberg that clogged one of London's sewers is destined for fame in a museum. The Museum of London says it will put the only remaining chunk of the 130-metric-ton (143-U.S. Source
  • Telescope to scan mysterious cigar-shaped asteroid for signs of alien technology

    Tech & Science CTV News
    If E.T. has a cellphone, astronomers are hoping to find it. Researchers will use a listening telescope to search for signs of alien technology on ‘Oumuamua, the mysterious, fast-moving, cigar-shaped interstellar object currently speeding through our solar system. Source
  • Pregnant woman wants seat on Tokyo metro: there's an app for that

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Pregnant women struggling to bag a seat on the famously packed Tokyo subway could find their salvation in a new app connecting them with nearby passengers willing to give up their coveted perch. The digital match-making app being trialled this week on the metro aims to overcome two problems especially prevalent in Japan: passengers generally have their nose buried in their phones and talking is strictly frowned upon. Source
  • SpaceX delivery via recycled rocket delayed a day

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - SpaceX has delayed its latest grocery run for the International Space Station for at least a day. The company now aims to launch its first recycled rocket for NASA on Wednesday. Source
  • Arctic report card: Permafrost thawing faster than before

    Tech & Science CTV News
    NEW ORLEANS - A new report finds permafrost in the Arctic is thawing faster than ever before. The annual report card released Tuesday also finds water is warming and sea ice is melting at the fastest pace in 1,500 years at the top of the world. Source
  • Tokyo airport to be 'scattered' with robots for 2020 Olympics

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Visitors to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics can expect to arrive at an airport "scattered" with robots to help them, an official said Tuesday as he unveiled seven new machines to perform tasks from helping with luggage to language assistance. Source
  • NASA to announce major planet-hunting discovery made possible by AI

    Tech & Science CTV News
    NASA is poised to make a significant announcement involving the search for Earth-like planets, in an effort that has been aided by artificial intelligence designed by Google. NASA and Google have scheduled a news conference to reveal their findings at 1 p.m. Source