Back to All Events

Drones & Ivory in San Francisco


San Francisco is the most important US city in the fight against the importation of ivory, with Los Angeles a close second.   Mostly these two cities, but others as well are responsible for about 30% of the world's recently-poached ivory.  It appears that both tourists as well as permanent residents in the US with an Asian background

With ivory still being sold openly in San Francisco, I was compelled to go see the ivory for myself... and so did by being cooperative and befriending one of the ivory vendors, I was invited into the bar room as he tried to sell me mammoth ivory. 

In truth the mammoth ivory is easy to identify as it has striations called Schreger's Lines that are easy to recognize from those found in elephant ivory.  There are several other animals from whom we collect ivory as well: walrus, warthog, sperm whale, killer whale, narwhal, and hippos, however the elephant ivory is the most prized because of its size and heritage in Asian cultures.


Although Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are being developed and have drawn quite a following from hobbyists to business entrepreneurs eager to fly goods from point A to point B. UAVs have traditionally been called remote controlled crafts, but most commonly today we call them drones because they are able to be pre-programmed to fly on their own, hence the name drone.  Another important point is that these "drones" are much smaller than the military drones and can usually be carried by one person. 

Here is the photo of me and two Airware employees with a fairly large UAV that could possibly be used to stop poachers. I attended the Silicon Valley Chapter Meeting of the AUVSI, which was held at AIrware.  The next day I established meetings with Drone Deploy and 3D Robotics - what a thrill to enter their offices where the magic happens!