PICS: Poacher-defying ivory inferno in Kenya covers sky in black smoke

2016-05-01 10:47 - Louzel Lombard
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Cape Town - Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday, 30 April, set fire to the world's biggest stockpile of ivory and rhino horn in a call to end illegal wildlife trade on the continent, and worldwide. 

The rainy Saturday afternoon brought together heads of state from several African nations and hundreds of onlookers to watch the Kenyan President set fire to over R2.5 billion worth of illicit wildlife goods.

The fire destroyed 105 tons of ivory, representing over 6 700 elephants. Another 1.35 tons of rhino horn was also burned.

On the black market, that quantity of ivory could sell for over R1.4 billion, and the rhino horn could raise as much as R1.1 billion. Rhino horn can fetch as much as R850 000/kg, more than gold or cocaine.

But Kenya dismisses any suggestion that the tusks have value - apart from for the elephants. 

Macabre scenes showed massive piles of ivory stacked neatly in heaps, surrounded by smaller ivory sculptures and statues, that were also torched. The invaluable goods were watched by heavily armed guards as they went up in flames. 

This is what the ivory inferno looked like on Saturday: 



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