Target: Director of Kenya Wildlife Services William Kibet Kiprono
Goal: Applaud the public burning of ivory tusks as a statement against poaching.
Kenya Wildlife Services recently hosted a public burning of the country’s ivory tusk stockpile, in the world’s biggest ivory bonfire ever recorded. The display came after a speech by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in which he demanded an immediate halt to all murderous harvesting and trafficking of ivory tusks threatening wild African elephants.
Poaching poses the biggest threat to African elephants, who are growing scarce. Tusks are often taken from large bulls in their reproductive prime. When an elephant’s tusks are removed by poachers, the elephant is almost always killed or too seriously injured to reproduce. This means that if poaching continues at the rate it is currently occurring, populations of African elephants with ivory tusks will go extinct. Elephants in the area are declining rapidly in numbers and conservationists predict wild elephants will disappear from Kenya in the next few years if greater efforts are not taken to prevent poaching.
Ivory can go for several tens of thousands of dollars on the black market, making elephants extremely attractive targets for poachers. Little effort has been put into rallying the management of ivory poachers in the conservation community. These beautiful creatures, who often return to visit and mourn their dead, do not deserve to be subjected to the cruelties of poaching. Kenya’s public burning of almost 105 tons of ivory elephant tusks is a symbolic statement of ivory’s worth and Kenya’s commitment to prevent poaching. Sign below to show nothing is worth the lives of these magnificent animals.
Dear Mr. Kiprono,
Your public demonstration of intolerance for elephant poaching displayed in the burning of 105 tons of ivory elephant tusks echoes the intransigence we all need to adopt in the conservation community. This performance should be recognized as a marker of a serious commitment to end poaching. Your pledge to protect wild African elephants is honorable and important.
I would like to thank you for battling the ivory trade in Kenya to protect what is left of the wild elephant population. Conservation is impossible without real organizations, such as yours, doing the ground work to prevent poaching. I believe the burning of Kenya’s ivory stockpile sent a strong message about the true worth of ivory and the price of losing one of the world’s most majestic and fascinating animals. I applaud you for your attempts in conserving the African wild elephant and encourage you to continue the fight to end poaching.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Thomas Mukoya