NEW YORK – Jan. 3, 2013 – The Government of China is set to destroy ivory and other wildlife products confiscated from illegal trade at a public ceremony on Jan. 6 in the city of Guangzhou, Guangdong Province.

The Wildlife Conservation Society is among the invitees to attend the event. Follow @theWCS, @wcschina and @joewalston_wcs to learn more about the event and the reaction from the Chinese public.

The destruction of ivory by China follows the U.S. government’s destruction of six tons of illegal ivory in Colorado in November.

It is estimated that about 96 elephants a day are killed illegally in Africa for their ivory. This has resulted in their numbers plummeting across much of the continent.

WCS is leading global efforts to save Africa's elephants and end the current elephant crisis by working in 11 African and 7 Asian countries in a coordinated program to stop the killing, stop the trafficking, and stop the demand. In Africa, WCS supports anti-poaching programs on the ground in 13 of Central and Eastern Africa's most important protected areas --those harboring some 26,000 elephants and facing the greatest pressure --from Nouabalé-Ndoki in Congo to Ruaha in Tanzania and Niassa in Mozambique. WCS recruits, equips, trains, and deploys park guards, provides aerial and intelligence support, and deploys state-of-the art systems to record where guards go and what they see, putting their patrols onto a scientific, systematic and effective footing.

In Africa and Asia, WCS is working with governments to curtail ivory trafficking at some of the most important transit points--cities, border crossings, ports, and airports. We deploy sniffer dogs in Gabon and Tanzania, and help to uncover trafficking networks in Congo and Mozambique. And globally, WCS is working to reduce consumer demand for ivory, which drives the killing and trafficking. In the US, WCS seeks national and state moratoria on all purchases and sales of ivory, and in Asia WCS assists concerned citizens who wish to educate their countrymen and women through social media about the lethal cost of ivory to Africa's elephants.

In September, WCS launched its 96 Elephants campaign to garner support from across the US for ivory moratoria within this country, and funding to support programs across Africa and Asia to stop the killing, stop the trafficking, and stop the demand. Go to 96 elephants to learn more.

STEPHEN SAUTNER: (1-718-220-3682;
MARY DIXON: (1-347-840-1242;