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Kenya destroys 15 tonnes of ivory to stem elephant poaching


KENYAN President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday set on fire over 15 tonnes of elephant tusks in order to help stem elephant poaching in the country.

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Corporate Communications Manager, Paul Udoto, told newsmen at the site for the torching of the ivory.

The occasion would coincide with the World Wildlife Day which would be hosted by the KWS at the Nairobi National Park where the destruction of the ivory took place.

“We cannot quantify in monetary terms the value of the consignment, because Kenya does not trade in ivory,’’ Udoto said.

In July 1989, former Kenyan President, Daniel Arap Moi, ignited 12 tonnes of ivory that had been stored.

In July 2011, immediate former Kenyan President, Mwai Kibaki, set on fire a mound of over five tonnes of elephant ivory numbering 335 tusks and 41,000 trinkets which had been confiscated in Singapore.

The 2011 burning, although hosted by Kenya, was carried out by Lusaka Agreement Task Force, a group of seven African countries that work to protect flora and fauna.

The burnt ivory was confiscated by officials in Singapore in 2002 and then sent to Kenya where DNA analysis determined that the tusks originated in Zambia and Malawi.

Udoto said the inferno would burn for five days under 24-hour guard, which would see the tusks reduced to charcoal. (Xinhua/NAN)

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