Burning of ivory sends a warning to poachers
Kenya has publicly burnt elephant ivory worth £10m in an attempt to focus attention on rising poaching deaths.
President Mwai Kibaki personally wielded the torch to light the bonfire of 335 confiscated tusks and 41,000 ivory trinkets.
He told several hundred people gathered at a rural Kenya Wildlife Service training facility: "Through the disposal of contraband ivory, we seek to formally demonstrate to the world our determination to eliminate all forms of illegal trade in ivory.
"We must all appreciate the negative effects of illegal trade to our national economies. We cannot afford to sit back and allow criminal networks to destroy our common future."
Elephant numbers are much healthier today than in the recent past, but conservationists say a second crisis is looming as poachers eek to satisfy China's appetite for ivory.
The conservation charity Save The Elephants tracks news of the animals from around the world, and last week cited headlines reporting elephant-related arrests in Kenya, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
The group's founder, Iain Douglas-Hamilton, said he hoped people would see Kenya's latest ivory destruction as further warning that elephants are again being hunted. The economic loss from the burning was part of the message.
"This is a clear signal that it's worth a lot more money than you could get on the market. We have to stop the buying if we want to stop the killing," he said. "I'm not totally pessimistic. I think the Chinese can be converted."
A global ban on the ivory trade in 1989 briefly halted the elephants' demise. But the ban's initial success has been undermined by booming Asian economies and increasing demand for land. Africa had 1.3 million elephants in the 1970s but has only 500,000 today.
Dolphins ‘deliberately get high’ on puffer fish nerve toxins by carefully chewing and passing them around
Outlander novelist Diana Gabaldon in battle to prevent 'industrial-scale' windfarm being built where travel series is set
The top 10 weirdest animal mating rituals
Shark facts: The fearsome fish in numbers
The ugliest animals on earth: Blobfish, axolotl and proboscis monkey battle it out to be named least attractive beast
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 Floyd Mayweather's mouthguard costs $25,000 - enough to fly to Las Vegas and back 18 times
- 5 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...
£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...