Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has just sent a powerful message to poachers and those who engage in the illegal ivory trade.
Kenya, which introduced the world to burning ivory in 1989, still thinks it’s a good idea. On Saturday morning, it hosted the most spectacular burn event yet: The tusks of nearly 7,000 elephants — 105 metric tons’ worth — were set alight in 11 separate pyres in Nairobi’s National Park.
The tusks, taken from elephants that were poached as well as from those that died naturally, were collected from Kenya’s parks and confiscated at its ports.
The haul represents the bulk of Kenya’s entire ivory stockpile. In addition, a 1.5-ton basket of rhino horn was set on fire. All told, more than $300 million worth of contraband went up in flames.
The article is worth the read, as there are potential concerns as well as benefits to making such a bold statement. However, I don’t think anyone can deny that the effect is powerful. Burning hundreds of millions of dollars worth of anything is going to make an impression, no matter how you slice it. It sends the message ivory should have no monetary value whatsoever, and I have to say I like it.
Damn straight, President Kenyatta.