In a move to discourage the trade in ivory, Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta set fire to 15 tonnes of elephant tusks at a World Wildlife Day event.
Twenty-five years since ivory trade was banned, new demand from emerging markets threatens Africa’s elephants and rhinos, President Uhuru Kenyatta said at Tuesday’s ceremony at the Nairobi National Park in the capital city.
African countries are concerned about the scale and rate of the new threat to endangered wildlife species, he said.
“Many of these tusks belonged to elephants which were wantonly slaughtered by criminals. We want future generations of Kenyans, Africans and the entire world to experience the majesty and beauty of these magnificent beasts. Poachers and their enablers will not have the last word,” Kenyatta said before setting ablaze a tall pile of elephant tusks doused with petrol.
Higher demand for ivory is fuelling elephant killings by poachers across Africa.
Save The Elephants, a London-based wildlife conservation group, said last year that 100,000 elephants were killed in Africa between 2010 and 2012.