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Kenya torches world’s biggest ivory bonfire to save elephants

Eleven giant pyres of tusks will be set on fire on Saturday as Kenya torches its vast ivory stockpile in a grand gesture aimed at shocking the world into stopping the slaughter of elephants.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who will be the first to light the semi-circle of tusks expected to burn for days in Nairobi’s national park, has demanded a total ban on trade in ivory to end trafficking and prevent the extinction of elephants in the wild.


“To lose our elephants would be to lose a key part of the heritage that we hold in trust. Quite simply, we will not allow it,” Mr Kenyatta said at a meeting of African heads of state and conservationists on Friday.

“We will not be the Africans who stood by as we lost our elephants.”


The bonfires will be the largest-ever torching of ivory, involving 105 tons from thousands of dead elephants, dwarfing by seven times any stockpile burned before. Another 1.35 tons of rhino horn will also be burned, representing the killing of some 340 of the endangered animals.


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