Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Kenya to destroy largest ever ivory stockpile at celebrity burning

26 January 2016, 20:58

Nairobi - Kenya said Tuesday it will torch its vast stockpile of ivory at a star-studded summit to include Hollywood celebrities, presidents and business leaders against "poaching and illegal trade in ivory."

The fire will be eight times the size of any ivory stockpile destroyed so far.

"Kenya plans to use the occasion to torch as many as 120 tonnes of ivory, the largest stockpile of ivory ever destroyed by any country, as proof of our commitment to zero tolerance for poaching and illegal ivory trade, " presidential spokesman Manoah Esipisu told reporters.

Kenya said "several" heads of state were expected to attend, along with Hollywood actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicole Kidman, and business tycoons George Soros, Paul Allen, Howard Buffet and Michael Bloomberg.

Others Kenya expects to attend include conservation icon and BBC legend David Attenborough, British musician Elton John, as well as former basketball star Yao Ming, who has led campaigns in his homeland of China to raise awareness of the damage elephant poaching causes.

President Uhuru Kenyatta set fire in March 2015 to a giant pile of 15 tonnes of elephant ivory, which conservationists said then was the largest ever burned in Africa.

Then, the pile of tusks burned made a dramatic three-metre (10-foot) tall pyre of tusks with huge flames, burning for several days until the ivory turned to ash.

At the time, Kenyatta said he set fire to ivory as a message because he wanted "future generations of Kenyans, Africans and the entire world to experience the majesty and beauty of these magnificent beasts."

The promised destruction of the remaining stockpile is now slated for April 29 and 30.

Veteran conservationist Richard Leakey, chairman of the government's Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), has championed the destruction of seized ivory.

Leakey said the average weight of an elephant's pair of tusks was around 36 kilos, meaning the stockpile represents the death of around 4,000 animals.

But other conservationists put a tusk's weight to be now far lower, meaning the stockpile could represent the deaths of even double that number.

The ivory includes tusks seized from poachers and from animals who died naturally.

The campaign is being organized by billionaire Russian publisher Evgeny Lebedev, owner of Britain's Independent and Evening Standard newspapers.

Leakey, a world famous paleontologist, is in talks to make a film of his life, made by Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie.

Speaking late last year, Leakey refused to confirm rumours Brad Pitt was tipped to play him in the film.

Ivory is sought out for jewellery and decorative objects and much of it is smuggled to China, where many increasingly wealthy shoppers are buying ivory trinkets as a sign of financial success.

Kenya's stockpile, if illegally sold on the black market at current prices, could be worth some $270 million (over 251 million euros), but conservationists say sale of ivory only serves to fuel further poaching.

It is estimated that more than 30,000 elephants are killed for their tusks every year.

The international ivory trade was banned in 1989 but one-off sales of ivory stockpiles have since been permitted and trade in old ivory is also allowed, giving criminal smugglers cover for their illegal trade.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!



Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Leave ODM if you are unhappy, Rai...

Leave ODM if you are not happy, Raila Odinga tells Senator. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Former Assistant Minister joins J...

A former Assistant Minister has quit PNU and joined the Jubilee Party. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
DP Ruto intervenes as Kerio Valle...

DP William Ruto will visit Kerio Valley to try solve never-ending clashes between local residents. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM MP chased down by angry Kibra...

Kibra MP Ken Okoth had a hard time in his constituency after angry youth pelted him with stones. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Prepare for DP Ruto fight in 2022...

An MP has warned that the Kalenjin Community will not stand back and watch as DP Ruto is duped ahead of the 2022 polls. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Be careful who you deal with, DP ...

Watch out for your political future, DP William Ruto has been warned. Read more...