ENVIRONMENT

Kenya prepares to burn ivory to protect elephants

  • Workers from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) carry elephant tusks from shipping containers full of ivory transported from around the country, as they stack it into pyres in Nairobi National Park, Kenya Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Around 105 tonnes of ivory and other endangered animal products are due to be burned next week, the largest single destruction of ivory in history according to the KWS, to coincide with the Giants Club summit for the protection of elephants which will be held in Kenya April 28-30. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

    Workers from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) carry elephant tusks from shipping containers full of ivory transported from around the country, as they stack it into pyres in Nairobi National Park, Kenya Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Around 105 tonnes of ivory and other endangered animal products are due to be burned next week, the largest single destruction of ivory in history according to the KWS, to coincide with the Giants Club summit for the protection of elephants which will be held in Kenya April 28-30. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Workers from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) pass elephant tusks along a line, from shipping containers full of ivory transported from around the country, as they prepare to stack it into pyres in Nairobi National Park, Kenya Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Around 105 tonnes of ivory and other endangered animal products are due to be burned next week, the largest single destruction of ivory in history according to the KWS, to coincide with the Giants Club summit for the protection of elephants which will be held in Kenya April 28-30. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

    Workers from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) pass elephant tusks along a line, from shipping containers full of ivory transported from around the country, as they prepare to stack it into pyres in Nairobi National Park, Kenya Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Around 105 tonnes of ivory and other endangered animal products are due to be burned next week, the largest single destruction of ivory in history according to the KWS, to coincide with the Giants Club summit for the protection of elephants which will be held in Kenya April 28-30. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Workers from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) carry elephant tusks from shipping containers full of ivory transported from around the country, as they prepare to stack it into pyres in Nairobi National Park, Kenya Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Around 105 tonnes of ivory and other endangered animal products are due to be burned next week, the largest single destruction of ivory in history according to the KWS, to coincide with the Giants Club summit for the protection of elephants which will be held in Kenya April 28-30. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

    Workers from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) carry elephant tusks from shipping containers full of ivory transported from around the country, as they prepare to stack it into pyres in Nairobi National Park, Kenya Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Around 105 tonnes of ivory and other endangered animal products are due to be burned next week, the largest single destruction of ivory in history according to the KWS, to coincide with the Giants Club summit for the protection of elephants which will be held in Kenya April 28-30. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)  (The Associated Press)

Kenyan wildlife officers have started stacking 105 tons of ivory and 1 ton of rhino horns to make 12 stacks which are to be torched at the end of the month to encourage global efforts to help save the elephant and rhino.

Under a grey sky and amid mud from rains the night before, media and conservationists gathered to witness the breaking of seals on eleven shipping containers full of ivory transported from stockpiles around Kenya.

Kenya Wildlife Service Director Kitili Mbathi said Wednesday there is a real threat of elephants becoming extinct in the next 50 years mainly because of poaching bankrolled by the trade in ivory and hence the need for dramatic action.