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 ·      Global conservation group has seen elephant slaughter first hand
·      Key to stopping elephant slaughter is to stop sale of ivory

NEW YORK (February 2, 2015) – The Following statement is from John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and Director of the 96 Elephants Campaign:

“WCS [Wildlife Conservation Society] and the 96 Elephants campaign praise San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors for passing a resolution out of committee in support of AB96, state legislation that would ban the sale of ivory and rhinoceros horn in the state of California.  Last week, Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced the resolution and Supervisor Katy Tang co-sponsored it.  A full vote is expected shortly. 

“WCS field conservationists work to save wildlife and wild places throughout Africa. We have seen firsthand the ravages or the ivory trade.  Our scientists led a landmark study in 2013 that documented a nearly 65 percent decline of forest elephants in the Congo Basin driven primarily by illegal killing of elephants for their ivory. 

“This finding and other reports led to the development of 96 Elephants – so named for the number of elephants estimated to die each day at the hands of poachers. Some 35,000 per year are killed. 96 Elephants amplifies efforts announced by the Clinton Global Initiative in 2013 to save Africa’s elephants. Today 96 Elephants is a coalition of some 124 zoos throughout the U.S. and well as dozens of other groups and businesses.   

“96 Elephants strongly supported the state ivory bans passed last year in New York and New Jersey, as well as a federal ban on ivory proposed by the Obama administration.  The reason is simple: Banning the sale of ivory saves elephants.  It is a key component to a three-part strategy of stopping the killing, stopping the trafficking and stopping the demand. 

“California is a major market for illegal ivory, and San Francisco consistently ranks among the top markets within the state. A recent study by NRDC showed that illegal ivory sales have doubled in eight years, and that as much as 90 percent of the ivory being sold in stores was illegal under current Californian law. 

“Only by banning the sale of all ivory can we be sure that the current ivory markets do not continue to serve as a front for illegal ivory.

“We urge continued support of A96, and we look forward to its swift passage by the California legislature. By banning the sale of ivory state by state, country by county, we will do our part to save Africa’s magnificent elephants from extinction.” 

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City,  visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit:;;  Follow: @thewcs.

96 Elephants
WCS is leading global efforts to save Africa’s elephants and end the current poaching and ivory trafficking crisis. In September, WCS launched its 96 Elephants campaign to amplify and support the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) “Partnership to Save Africa’s Elephants” by stopping the killing, stopping the trafficking, and stopping the demand. The WCS campaign focuses on: securing effective moratoria on sales of ivory; bolstering elephant protection; and educating the public about the link between ivory consumption and the elephant poaching crisis.