Kenyan officials built a huge pyre out of the world’s largest stockpile of confiscated elephant tusks and rhino horns, and its fiery destruction yesterday was an angry show of zero tolerance towards poaching
Is this the evidence of Kenya’s zero-tolerance approach towards poaching and illegal wildlife trade or a government going mad? Kenyans had mixed reactions to government’s decision to burn the world’s largest stockpile of ivory tusks and rhino horn, worth millions of dollars, in Nairobi yesterday. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was convening the inaugural Giants Club Summit to address the elephant-poaching crisis in Africa and work towards a lasting solution for the conservation of the continent’s wildlife.
The Giants Club was founded by the presidents of Botswana, Gabon, Kenya and Uganda, with support from Space for Giants and its patron, Evgeny Lebedev, the London-based Russian owner of The Independent and Evening Standard newspapers.
The summit was punted as the largest gathering of African presidents to solely focus on protecting the continent’s natural heritage.
Kenyatta has maintained that the burning of 105 tons of ivory and one ton of rhino horn will serve as “proof of Kenya’s zero-tolerance approach” to poaching and dealing in ivory.
Kenya’s environment secretary, Professor Judi Wakhungu, described the plan as being part of Kenya’s efforts to highlight the continuing threat of poaching to Africa’s wildlife.
“Kenya is once again boldly leading the way by demonstrating that ivory must be put beyond economic use by burning our entire stockpile,” she told The Telegraph.
reporter – Staff
THE TOOTH FAIRY WON’T PAY HELPING HAND A contractor carries an elephant tusk to the pyre in Kenya. A tusk from an adult male elephant can weigh between 45kg and 80kg
SPEAKING TOOTH TO POWER The ivory was confiscated from poachers. In March last year, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta pledged to destroy all the nation’s ivory