Mozambique says it has destroyed a large stockpile of confiscated ivory and rhino horn in an effort to curb severe poaching of the country's elephant population.

Samiro Magane, a conservation official in Mozambique, said in a telephone interview that the burning of the ivory and rhino horn on Monday shows the government's policy of "zero tolerance" toward poaching.

The Wildlife Conservation Society, a New York-based group that works in Mozambique, says a total of 5,370 pounds (2.4 metric tons) of ivory and dozens of rhino horn pieces weighing a total of nearly 440 pounds (200 kilograms) were destroyed.

Conservationists say the number of elephants in Mozambique has dropped nearly 50 percent to about 10,300 in the last five years because of poaching.