100 tons of ivory burned in Africa; estimated at $250 million on black market

Correction — May 5, 2016
This article at publication misstated the monetary estimates as thousands of dollars instead of millions of dollars. We apologize for the error.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Yesterday, over one hundred tons of ivory was burned in Kenya. The elephant ivory's estimated worth on the black market was about $170 million and the rhinoceros ivory's around $70 million. The fire was lighted by the Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta.

File photo, Mikumi National Park, Tanzania, 2011.
Image: Muhammad Mahdi Karim.

Celebrities Kristin Davis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicole Kidman, George Soros, and Elton John were also there.

Kenya Wildlife Service director Kihili Mbathi says the ivory has no worth for them. Only the living animals matter. Kenya, Tanzania, and other countries heavily affected by illegal hunting of elephants have varying policies on this matter. Tanzania saves every piece of ivory, while Kenyans burn the monetarily valuable ivory each year. Mbathi also says the burning of ivory is meant to stimulate discussion of a global ban against all ivory buying and selling.