04/01/2014 01:54 pm ET

Hawaii Lawmakers Want To Stop The Illegal Trade In Ivory

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There aren't a lot of large wild mammals in the islands, but elephants have a notable connection to Hawaii — or rather, their tusks do.

The U.S. is the world's second largest national market for ivory after China, and Hawaii is America's third largest consumer of ivory — after New York and California, according to extensive research by the Humane Society of the United States.

The outsized market for ivory in Hawaii is part of why wildlife advocates and lawmakers in the state are working to ban the sale of ivory from elephants, as well as from hippopotamuses, walruses, whales, narwhals and even extinct mammoths. Most ivory reaching the market these days comes from central Africa, where poachers kill elephants or hack off the tusks of live pachyderms.

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