Burns

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

CityPress - - News -

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

PHOTO: REUTERS

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

PHOTO: AP PHOTO / BEN CUR­TIS

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

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