Kenya burns 100 tonnes of ivory in stand against poaching

President sets fire to confiscated elephant and rhino ivory


Kenya Burns 100 Tons Of Elephant Ivory, Rhino Horn In Poaching Protest

The Kenyan president has set fire to 100 tonnes of confiscated elephant and rhino ivory in an effort to show his commitment to saving Africa's elephants.

Uhuru Kenyatta lit the biggest of 11 pyres of ivory tusks and one of rhino horn, in a move that is believed to be the largest stockpile ever destroyed.

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The Metro reports horrifying statistics that the stacks of tusks represent more than 8,000 elephants and 343 rhinos slaughtered for their ivory and horns, according to the Kenya Wildlife Service.

Kenyatta said Kenya will push for the total ban on trade in ivory at the 17th meeting of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species to be held in South Africa later this year.

He said: "A time has come when we must take a stand and the stand is clear." Kenya is making a statement that for us ivory is worthless unless it is on our elephants."

According to the BBC, he added: "The height of the pile of ivory before us marks the strength of our resolve.

"No-one, and I repeat no-one, has any business in trading in ivory, for this trade means death of our elephants and death of our natural heritage."

But, according to the Guardian, some experts are worried about the move. Mike Norton-Griffiths, an environmental economist, said he feared it could encourage poaching. "I am very worried about it. I think it's almost reckless of the Kenyans. The problem is it's a very large burn of ivory, 5% of the global stocks of ivory, and when you take 5% of stocks out of a market like this, a resource market, something is going to happen," he explained.

"The traders will see 5% less ivory available to be released to them. Their response will be: 'They're taking this seriously. They're never going to release this ivory to us. We must go and collect more from elephants.'"

Experts have warned elephants could be extinct within decades, with a huge demand for ivory coming from Asia.

Pictures of baby elephants

Pictures of baby elephants