Kenya plans what may be the most elaborate anti-poaching display ever.
When it comes to sending a message to poachers, Kenya should easily win that award in April when they plan to incinerate $270 million worth of elephant ivory.
Kenya is planning the flaming display as a part of the Pan-African Giants Club summit in April. “Kenya plans to use the occasion to torch as many as 120 tonnes of ivory, the largest stockpile of ivory ever destroyed by any country, as our proof of our commitment to zero tolerance for poaching and illegal ivory trade,” Monoah Esipisu, Kenyan presidential spokesman said. “The fire will be eight times the size of any ivory stockpile destroyed so far.”
The 265,000 pound stockpile of ivory came from approximately 4,000 elephants. Not all of it is from poached animals. Some of it comes from elephants that died of natural causes.
In recent years, Kenya has gone from a country with a major poaching problem due to corruption and weak laws, to one that is now being used as a model for other countries. Changes to the country’s laws with the Wildlife Management and Conservation Act of 2013, and their “Hands Off Our Elephants” campaign, have done more than just end the corruption and tack on bigger penalties for poachers. The efforts have actually dropped poaching by 80 percent.
It’s probably a safe bet to say this demonstration by Kenya will not only get poachers’ attention, but the world’s, too. As if the planned display wasn’t enough, actors, musicians, famous athletes and representatives from several nations are all expected to attend.