Black smoke is billowing into the air of the Ethiopian capital as 6.1 tons of illegal elephant tusks, ivory trinkets, carvings and various forms of jewelry burn on a wooden pyre that government officials set alight to discourage poaching and the ivory trade.

Ethiopia becomes the second African country this year to burn its ivory stockpile as global efforts increase for the conservation of elephants, a vulnerable species whose numbers are quickly dwindling as they are killed for their ivory tusks.

Dawud Mome, Director General of the Ethiopian Wildlife and Conservation Authority, said Friday the ivory being burnt was confiscated from various people in the last 20 years. Most of the ivory was being smuggled through Ethiopia to a third country, he says.