Sunday, May 01, 2016

Kenya declares war on poachers

Kenya declared war on poachers Saturday with the burning of 105 tons of ivory and 1.35 tons of rhinoceros horns gathered by illegal hunting, which puts at risk the survival of elephants in Africa.

Never before has such a huge quantity of ivory been destroyed in Kenya, which reaffirmed with this act its commitment to wiping out the mafias that traffic in the so-called "white gold" and which take in more than $200 million (175 million euros) every year across the continent.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta started the burning of the 11 huge piles of ivory at Nairobi National Park, where last year another 15 tons were burned as an act of protest against poachers.

"No-one, and I repeat no-one, has any business in trading in ivory, for this trade means death of our elephants and death of our natural heritage," the president of Kenya said.

Despite the growing demand for ivory, poaching in Kenya declined last year, according to the Kenya Wildlife Service, or KWS.

While in 2012 some 384 elephants were slaughtered for their tusks, in 2015 the number dropped to 96 in the entire country, where some 35,000 of the pachyderms live that attract thousands of tourists from around the world every year.

Next month the U.N. will launch in Nairobi a global campaign to reduce the demand for these illegal products that are exterminating wildlife.

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