Last Saturday the Kenyan government burned 105 tons of elephant ivory and 1.35 tons of rhino horn. The ivory was worth an estimated $105 million, making it the biggest ivory burn of all time. The burn was carried out at Nairobi National Park and was used as a platform for the government to address Africa’s ongoing problems with poaching.
“For us, ivory is worthless unless it is on our elephants,” said Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta. Some people argue that this will send a strong message to poachers. However, others believe that the money from the confiscated ivory could have been used to fund the protection of wildlife, and there are also concerns that the burn will actually encourage poaching by increasing the demand for ivory.
The stockpile of tusks and horns came from about 6,500 elephants and 450 rhinos killed by poachers. There are currently 400,00 elephants in Africa but with 30,000 hunted down each year, they may face extinction in a couple of decades.
Last Saturday the Kenyan government burned 105 tons of elephant ivory and 1.35 tons of rhino horn
Image credits: Charlie Hamilton James