Rid yourself of illegal ivory at Flanders’ animal parks


The Bare Your Tusks campaign asks those with ivory objects to leave them at collection centres as part of a campaign to stunt the ivory market

Some ivory items already left at Antwerp Zoo
Some items made of ivory left at Antwerp Zoo

Elephant in the room

Antwerp Zoo and Planckendael animal park in Mechelen have set up collection sites for visitors to deposit ivory. Any products made of ivory people have at home, from decorative objects to elephant tusks picked up on safari, can be brought to either of the parks.

It is part of a campaign, reports Flanders News, to stop people taking part in the ivory trade, which leads to illegal poaching in Africa and Asia. Although buying ivory isn’t a crime, selling ivory anywhere in the world without proper certification is illegal.

The ivory trade is blamed for endangering wild rhinoceros and elephant populations. Both animals are routinely slaughtered for their horns and tusks, respectively.

Antwerp Zoo has long been involved in many conservation and breeding programmes in co-operation with parks and research centres around the world. It is a frontrunner, for instance, in the preservation of the okapi, funds safe corridors for Asian elephants in India and leads a research project on endangered ape species in Cameroon.

The ivory campaign, called Laat je (slag)tanden zien (Bare Your Tusks), runs until 12 August. Pairi Daiza in Wallonia’s Hainaut province is also taking part. All the ivory collected will be destroyed in order to send a message to traders that ivory is not wanted in Belgium.

Photo courtesy VRT

Antwerp Zoo

Antwerp Zoo is one of the oldest and best-conserved zoos in the world. The zoo buildings and gardens are registered as protected Flemish heritage.
Kai-Mook - In 2009, Kai-Mook, the first baby elephant born on Belgian soil, dominated national and international headlines for weeks.
Founding - The Zoo was established by former Antwerp mayor Jans Frans Loos. After visiting Amsterdam’s zoo, he decided it was time for Antwerp to get its own.
Short - In colloquial Flemish speech, Antwerp Zoo has long gone by the simple name “De Zoo”.
1 843

Zoo opens


surface area in hectares

5 000