Kenya torches $100 million worth of ivory in largest anti-poaching display ever.
Back in February we told you about Kenya’s plans for the biggest anti-poaching display ever planned. They wanted to destroy over $100 million worth of ivory, by burning it.
And this past Saturday, they went through with that plan, incinerating 105 tons of ivory, the most ever destroyed at once. And African leaders had some very strong words for poachers at the event.
The 105 tons of ivory represents 6,000-7,000 dead elephants according to the New York Times. In case you were wondering about street values, it’s approximately $105 million, and that’s just counting the elephant ivory.
“We shouldn’t have to burn 105 tons of ivory and 1.5 tons of rhino horn,” Kenya Conservationist Richard Leakey said. “It is a disgraceful shame this continues.”
Even though there have been some arguments made that ivory burning is more harmful than helpful when it comes to combating poaching, the words of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Gabon President Ali Bongo at the event were pretty strong and encouraging as African countries increasingly put the pressure on ivory poachers.
As poacher tactics become increasingly more coordinated and organized, it appears officials in Kenya and other African countries are evolving their tactics along with them.
“No one, and I repeat, no one, has any business in trading in ivory, for this trade means death – the death of our elephants and the death of our natural heritage,” Kenyatta said.
As far as making a statement against poachers, Kenya definitely seems to have done it. The fires are expected to burn for several days.