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Ivory elephant tusk jewelry taken from traveler at Detroit Metro Airport

Ivory beads not allowed due to rule protecting African elephants

Ivory jewelry seized May 17, 2021, at Detroit Metro Airport.
Ivory jewelry seized May 17, 2021, at Detroit Metro Airport. (WDIV)

ROMULUS, Mich. – Ivory jewelry made from elephant tusks was recently taken from a traveler at Detroit Metro Airport, officials said.

A passenger from South Korea arrived at DTW on Monday (May 17) and was discovered to have ivory prayer beads and bracelets made from the tusks of elephants, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The ivory must meet certain U.S. Fish and Wildlife import/export requirements, officials said. It is not allowed in the U.S. due to the Endangered Species Act, which protects African elephants from a rise in poaching, CBP Director of Field Operations Christopher Perry tweeted.

“African elephants are being poached at alarming levels to supply the illegal ivory trade,” Perry tweeted.

“Under this law, you cannot sell or offer for sale across state lines or overseas; import; export; or take (which includes harass, harm, or kill) any elephant or elephant product, unless you meet requirements of the ESA,” a CPB spokesperson said.

The ivory was abandoned by the owner to FWS, officials said.

Ivory jewelry seized May 17, 2021, at Detroit Metro Airport. (WDIV)
Ivory jewelry seized May 17, 2021, at Detroit Metro Airport. (WDIV)

About the Author:

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.