Kenyan authorities will burn more than 100 tons of illegally obtained elephant tusks and ivory, worth more than $100 million, in an effort to combat poaching.
The stockpile, from all across Kenya, includes 105 tons of elephant ivory, 1.35 tons of rhino horn, exotic animal skins and other exotic materials confiscated by the Kenyan government, according to CNN. Kenya first began burning illegal ivory in 1989 and the burn on Saturday is the largest one in history.
Conservationists are hoping that the burn will signal to expanding markets hungry for ivory, like China, that they should not support poaching, as many fear that elephants could become extinct in the next 50 years.
“My feeling is that many people who are buying this ivory in China and elsewhere simply don’t know what it is doing to elephants. Maybe they think that it is coming off elephants that have died of natural causes,” Richard Leakey, chairman of the Kenyan Wildlife Service, told Scientific American. “When Kenya burns $100 million worth of ivory, they’ll say, “What the hell was that about?” It will help open their eyes to what is actually happening”