Toss the Tusk

Franklin Park Zoo

Saturday, October 5, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

It's estimated that approximately every 25 minutes an elephant is killed to fuel the massive illegal ivory trade.

Wildlife trafficking is a global crisis that is putting elephants at risk of extinction. Since 2007, the illegal ivory trade has more than doubled with the U.S ivory market ranking among the top worldwide. We're partnering with a coalition of conservation organizations to help protect them. Join us at our ivory surrender event to have your unwanted ivory disposed of safely. Together, we’ll send a message that only elephants need ivory!

Participants should go to the Giraffe entrance located on Pierpont Road. Surrendered ivory will be transported to a national repository and will then be destroyed or used for educational purposes, ensuring it will never enter the consumer market.

Events & Activities

  • 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.: Ivory collection by Giraffe entrance
  • 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.: Crafts & Education Station by Giraffe entrance
  • 11:30 a.m.: Condor zookeeper chat
  • 1:30 p.m.: Hyena zookeeper chat
  • 2:30 p.m.: Warthog zookeeper chat


Why should I surrender my ivory?

We must act quickly and effectively to save elephants from extinction. But most importantly, we must act together. By surrendering ivory, you will ensure that these products will never be made available on the market. And by removing ivory products from the market, we can reduce demand and keep these majestic animals alive for generations to come.

How do I surrender ivory?

Authorized agents will be on site to take your ivory products and zoo staff will be available to help ensure an easy process.

Will I get in trouble for surrendering my ivory?

No. It is not illegal in the United States to own or possess ivory or ivory products. It is illegal, however, to commercially trade most ivory and ivory products in the U.S.

Where will the ivory go?

We will to ensure the safe collection and transport of surrendered ivory products. Ivory collected during the events will be used for educational purposes, or properly disposed of.

Is owning ivory illegal?

On July 6, 2016, a near-total ban on the commercial trade of African elephant ivory went into effect in the United States. However, the new regulations do not restrict personal possession of ivory. If you already own ivory—an heirloom carving that’s been passed down in your family, or a vintage musical instrument with ivory components—you can still legally own those pieces.

Where can I report wildlife crime?

If you suspect someone is selling illegal ivory in the United States, you can make an anonymous report to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service tip line at 1–844–FWS–TIPS or FWS_TIPS@fws.gov

Committed to Conservation

Ivory Surrender Events

Nationwide ivory surrender events are being organized by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) / Wildlife Trafficking Alliance (WTA), with support from the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the Wildlife Conservation Society. Zoo New England’s Franklin Park Zoo joins seven other AZA-accredited zoos across the country holding Toss the Tusk events so that the public can bring their unwanted ivory to be properly disposed of. Learn more

Working to Ban the Sale of Ivory and Rhinoceros Horn in MA

Zoo New England is working with a coalition of partners to pass legislation in Massachusetts to ban the sale of ivory and rhinoceros horn, ensuring that the Commonwealth does not contribute to the global poaching crisis. This legislation mirrors 2016 federal ivory trade regulations, which were adopted to address the devastating and escalating threats to African elephants, and is critical as federal law does not regulate intrastate trade in ivory and rhino horn creating gaping enforcement loopholes. Ten states, including New Hampshire, have already implemented similar laws. Help us take action!

The American Zoological Association's Commitment

As wild populations of elephants continue to decline in Africa and Asia, AZA accredited zoos are playing a vital role as stewards of an important part of the world’s heritage. Members of the AZA are very involved in elephant conservation efforts, contributing over $13 million to elephant conservation field projects between 2013 and 2017. In addition, Asian elephants are an AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction species program, which will combine the power of nearly 200 million annual visitors with the expertise and resources of AZA members and partners to work on saving Asian elephants from extinction. AZA and its members are also strong supporters of 96 Elephants, which seeks to educate the public on how the demand for ivory is leading to the senseless slaughter of 96 elephants per day in Africa, and what actions they can take to stop the demand.