Why do people steal elephant tusks?

Poachers kill about 20,000 elephants every single year for their tusks, which are then traded illegally in the international market to eventually end up as ivory trinkets. This trade is mostly driven by demand for ivory in parts of Asia.
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Why are elephant tusks so valuable?

It has no intrinsic value, but its cultural uses make ivory highly prized. In Africa, it has been a status symbol for millennia because it comes from elephants, a highly respected animal, and because it is fairly easy to carve into works of art.
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Why do people collect elephant tusk?

“Ivory is a status symbol,” says Lo, referring to the product that people sometimes call “white gold.” It's a luxury product that people use to flaunt their wealth, she explains.
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What do humans use elephant tusks for?

Tusks are used by humans to produce ivory, which is used in artifacts and jewellery, and formerly in other items such as piano keys. Consequently, many tusk-bearing species have been hunted commercially and several are endangered.
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How much is an elephant tusk worth?

A vast majority of ivory ends up in China, where a rapidly growing middle class has coveted it for bracelets, combs, statuettes and other status symbols. That demand has pushed the price of ivory so high that the tusks from a single elephant could be worth more than $100,000.
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4 things you may not know about ivory poaching



How much is 1kg of ivory worth?

Black-market values are, of course, often invisible to the general public, but the most recent data from criminal justice experts finds that unworked (or raw) elephant ivory sells for about $92/kg on the black market in Africa, while rhino horn is currently selling for $8,683/kg.
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Do people sell elephant tusks?

Ivory, which comes from elephant tusks, is considered very valuable. Because of the high price of ivory, poachers illegally kill elephants so that they can take their tusks and sell them. Tens of thousands of elephants are killed each year for their tusks, and as a result, elephant populations have declined rapidly.
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Can elephant tusks be removed without killing?

Though we call it ivory a tusk is actually made of dentine, which is the same material found in human teeth. The only way to remove a tusk from an elephant is either through a very long, complicated dental procedure or to kill the elephant and cut the tusk out.
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Can an elephant survive without tusks?

The team confirmed that this was an evolutionary response: During the years of intense ivory-poaching, females without tusks were five times more likely to survive than those with them.
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Does removing tusks hurt elephants?

Elephants feel an immense amount of pain if someone cuts off their tusks. Tusks are deeply rooted incisors with nerve endings. When severed, those nerve endings are exposed and can easily become infected, leading to death.
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Are elephant tusks lucky?

They Bring Good Fortune

However, for good fortune to arrive, you must select elephant items that depict the elephant with its tusk raised in an upward position. Many makers of elephant jewelry, statues, etc. know this, which is why raised tusks are commonly shown.
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What happens if you remove elephant tusk?

Elephants feel an immense amount of pain if someone cuts off their tusks. Tusks are deeply rooted incisors with nerve endings. When severed, those nerve endings are exposed and can easily become infected, leading to death.
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What is the spiritual meaning of elephant tusks?

Elephants use their tusks as tools. They also use them to defend themselves, stand their ground, and overcome challenges. A dream about elephant tusks can be a sign that the ability to overcome obstacles and establish boundaries with others is something you should focus on. It is a sign of strength and power.
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Who buys elephant tusks?

The vast majority of smuggled ivory—experts say as much as 70 percent—ends up in China, where a newly wealthy middle class fuels the demand for luxury ivory products. Although seizures of illegally obtained ivory take place, much of the smuggled ivory still gets through.
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Do elephant tusks grow forever?

Elephant tusks are rootless similar to human baby teeth and therefore cannot regrow. However, elephant tusks do continue to grow in length throughout an elephant's lifetime as long as they are not damaged. Elephant tusks grow in layers with the most inside layer being the last produced.
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Why do Chinese want elephant tusks?

In China and Hong Kong, ivory is seen as precious material and is used in ornaments and jewellery. It's also sometimes used in traditional Chinese medicine. Some rich Chinese people think that owning ivory makes them look more successful.
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Why do African elephants not have tusks?

Unnatural selection: After being targeted by ivory poachers in Mozambique, elephants are being born without tusks at an increasing rate. More than 20,000 African elephants are illegally killed every year for their ivory tusks, leaving behind the animals' carcasses in their wake.
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Which animal is killed for its skin?

Other species are hunted and killed specifically for their skins, including zebras, bison, kangaroos, elephants, crocodiles, alligators, ostriches, lizards, and snakes. Other “exotic” animals, such as alligators and crocodiles, are factory-farmed for their skins and meat.
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Do elephant tusks decompose?

The organic components in ivory is called ossein, which is decomposed by hydrolysis and after long-term exposure can cause the ivory to turn into a sponge-like substance.
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How much is real ivory worth?

Globally, the ivory trade is estimated to be worth $23 billion per year. And given that ivory sells for approximately $3,300 per pound, poachers have plenty of motivation to continue killing elephants for their tusks.
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Why do zoo elephants not have tusks?

Some elephants are tuskless because of a genetic mutation triggered by poaching.
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How much is elephant ivory worth?

But the big profit is made in Asia. Thai Customs recently evaluated smuggled ivory as being worth $1,800 per kilogram—$18,000 per elephant—wholesale. The “street value” retail price of 10 kilograms of carved ivory now runs about $60,000.
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What is the price of elephant teeth?

The cop asked for uncarved ivory and Jain told him that it would cost him Rs 8 lakh per kg while an entire tusk would cost him over Rs 1.50 crore.
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What is ivory used for today?

Examples of modern carved ivory objects are okimono, netsukes, jewelry, flatware handles, furniture inlays, and piano keys. Additionally, warthog tusks, and teeth from sperm whales, orcas and hippos can also be scrimshawed or superficially carved, thus retaining their morphologically recognizable shapes.
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Does ivory cost more than gold?

As mentioned earlier, the skyrocketing prices of ivory made its value enormous, even worth more than gold. But, it's worth mentioning that, unlike gold, ivory is illegally sold. One report has even found that most of the ivory items in Europe are made out of ivory that was obtained in illegal ways.
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