US

2,000 tusks aflame in large burn of poached wildlife goods

  • U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, foreground meets with families who fled to Mokolo, Cameroon, Monday, April 18, 2016, to escape Boko Haram. Power is visiting Cameroon, Chad, and Nigeria to highlight the growing threat Boko Haram poses to the Lake Chad Basin region. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

    U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, foreground meets with families who fled to Mokolo, Cameroon, Monday, April 18, 2016, to escape Boko Haram. Power is visiting Cameroon, Chad, and Nigeria to highlight the growing threat Boko Haram poses to the Lake Chad Basin region. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power stands near the first Cameroon Ivory Burn at the Palais des Congres in Yaounde, Cameroon, Tuesday, April 19, 2016, which was lit to highlight the need to halt the Ivory trade in order to save Africa's elephants. Power is visiting Cameroon, Chad, and Nigeria to highlight the growing threat Boko Haram poses to the Lake Chad Basin region. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

    U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power stands near the first Cameroon Ivory Burn at the Palais des Congres in Yaounde, Cameroon, Tuesday, April 19, 2016, which was lit to highlight the need to halt the Ivory trade in order to save Africa's elephants. Power is visiting Cameroon, Chad, and Nigeria to highlight the growing threat Boko Haram poses to the Lake Chad Basin region. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)  (The Associated Press)

  • A firefighter tends to the first Cameroon Ivory Burn, attended by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power at the Palais des Congres in Yaounde, Cameroon, Tuesday, April 19, 2016, to highlight the need to halt the Ivory trade in order to save Africa's elephants. Power is visiting Cameroon, Chad, and Nigeria to highlight the growing threat Boko Haram poses to the Lake Chad Basin region. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

    A firefighter tends to the first Cameroon Ivory Burn, attended by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power at the Palais des Congres in Yaounde, Cameroon, Tuesday, April 19, 2016, to highlight the need to halt the Ivory trade in order to save Africa's elephants. Power is visiting Cameroon, Chad, and Nigeria to highlight the growing threat Boko Haram poses to the Lake Chad Basin region. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)  (The Associated Press)

Some 2,000 illegally trafficked elephant tusks and hundreds of finished ivory products erupted in a ball of fire Tuesday as Cameroonian authorities conducted what was believed to be one of the largest burnings of poached wildlife goods in African history.

Setting the pyre aflame in Cameroon's capital, Samantha Power, America's U.N. ambassador, joined Cameroonian officials in hailing the ceremony as symbolic of their commitment to fight illegal smuggling of animal products.

The pyre will burn for three days.

In March, a U.S. task force said a "turning point" had been reached in the global endeavor to fight ivory smuggling.

Central Africa's forest elephants have declined in number by two-thirds between 2002 and 2012.