Published on the 6th of March, 2015
On the 3rd March, His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta set ablaze 15 tonnes of confiscated ivory.
“Twenty-five years after the historic banning of the ivory trade, demand from the emerging markets once again threatens Africa’s elephants and rhinos,” President Kenyatta said. “We want future generations of Kenyans, Africans and indeed the entire world to experience the majesty and beauty of these magnificent animals. Poachers and their enablers will not have the last word in Kenya”. The President went on to promise that the government would destroy Kenya’s entire stockpile of ivory, thought to be more than 100 tonnes, by the end of the year.
“We stood in awe as this funeral pyre of confiscated ivory from numerous elephants went up in flames. Later we watched as the flames rose high into the sky with the near full moon rising behind.
It was a very emotional scene. We contemplated if, amidst this heap, lay the tusks from some of our orphans’ lost mothers, and of all those magnificent lives lost. We reflected on the herds that this represented, that should still be alive today and not lost forever, but better their ivory burn to dust today so that they can never have economic value and end up on someone’s mantelpiece tomorrow.
We returned at dawn the next morning to the still burning pile now 14 hours later and then again in the evening, now 26 hours later. Just burning cinders were left and the haunting memory of the irreplaceable loss to Kenya caused by the Ivory trade.
“We are immensely proud of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s actions.” Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick D.B.E.