Thursday, 26 November 2015

Kenya to burn its entire stockpile of Ivory

Kenya’s wildlife authority has vowed to destroy the east African country’s vast ivory stockpile which is nine times more than the largest pile torched so far.

In March, Kenyan President set fire to 15 tons of Ivory, the largest amount ever burned at once in Africa.

The remaining stockpile of ivory weighs 137 tonnes and would dwarf that.

Veteran conservationist Richard Leakey, who is once again boss of the government’s Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), said the ivory would be destroyed in the year ahead.

“I am absolutely sure” it will be destroyed, Leakey told reporters, promising “quite a dramatic event”, without giving further details.

The average weight of a pair of elephant tusks is approximately 36kg, so the stockpile represents about 3,820 dead elephants

The ivory includes tusks seized from poachers, and also any that has been recovered from animals that died a natural death.

I have visited the burning site in Nairobi National Park and seen the huge pits of charred and broken ivory pieces, grey or sometimes still white in colour. It was an emotional place to stand and contemplate the sheer numbers of gentle giants that they represent, and the shame and embarrassment of being a member of the human race. We are worse than animals, as we are endowed with the brains to know better.

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