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5 Tons of Elephant Ivory Set on Fire by Kenya’s President (VIDEO)

5 Tons of Elephant Ivory Set on Fire by Kenya’s President (VIDEO)

 

Last Wednesday, Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki set fire to more than five tonnes of elephant ivory to bring attention to the problem of poaching. About 335 ivory tusks and 41,000 trinkets worth about $16,290,000 ( 10 million) were burned. It had been confiscated by officials in Singapore in 2002 and found to be from Zambia and Malawai, says the Guardian.

Said Kibaki at a rural Kenya Wildlife Service training facility:

“Through the disposal of contraband ivory, we seek to formally demonstrate to the world our determination to eliminate all forms of illegal trade in ivory. We must all appreciate the negative effects of illegal trade to our national economies. We cannot afford to sit back and allow criminal networks to destroy our common future.”

Africa had about 1.3 million elephants in the 1970s but now has only about 500,000. Kenya currently has about 37,000, “up from the 16,000 it had at the height of the crisis in 1989 but far below the country’s peak.”

In 1989, Kenyan officials first set fire to huge store of ivory, as a wake-up call about the crisis of the declining elephant population. Elephants numbers have increased, but activists fear another crisis as the middle class in China grows and “seeks to satisfy its appetite for ivory,” just as the growing Chinese middle class’s taste for shark’s fin soup has led to rising demand for sharks, an endangered species. A global ban on ivory was implemented in 1989 and temporarily halted the elephants’ decline, but its numbers are again in danger due to the “booming demand” for ivory in Asia and more conflicts between humans and elephants as the former encroach on the animals’ land.

The Lusaka Agreement Task Force, a group of seven African countries working to preserve its wildlife and plants, was behind the burning of the ivory.

Related Care2 Coverage

Yes, Chinese Culture Will Survive Without Shark Fin Soup

First National Elephant Census in Sri Lanka

1.3 Tons of Illegal Ivory Seized At Nairobi Airport

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77 comments

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7:12AM PST on Nov 23, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

4:17PM PST on Nov 9, 2012


Earth Cry

Mother Nature Needs Us

12:13PM PDT on Oct 1, 2012

£10 million is a lot but not this much can not bring the mammoth back, lets not make the same mistakes.

2:06PM PDT on Sep 5, 2012

Thank you.

2:05PM PDT on Sep 5, 2012

Thank you.

8:20AM PST on Jan 1, 2012

why burn the ivory why not donate to museums or schools for children to understand and comprehend where these trinkets come from show videos of the beautiful animals their husks and then the finished product to wear why burn what these animals have already sacrificed like cynthia b says they burn the drugs or so they say but why not use them for what they were intended on earth to relieve pain and suffering rather that let them go up in smoke it's all so arrogant and ridiculouss

8:08AM PST on Jan 1, 2012

it all seems so ridiculous to kill an animal and these majestic beings for adornment or herbal medicine it's really so gross we should be screaming in the streets as long as people are starving and ignorent of the consequences of their actions this will always go on as so much horror goes on greed and money

7:58AM PST on Jan 1, 2012

Thanks.

12:37PM PDT on Aug 9, 2011

I love the way they deal with poachers in that part of the world!

8:02PM PDT on Aug 3, 2011

I think it's great making a stand.. but doesn't that just raise the demand for more ivory? Now that many more will be slaughtered. Maybe they should have sold the ivory at a sky high price and use the money to prevent more poaching.

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