ENVIRONMENT

Kenya to burn huge pile of ivory tusks to protest poaching

  • A ranger from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) stands guard near some of around a dozen pyres of ivory, in Nairobi National Park, Kenya Thursday, April 28, 2016. The wildlife service has stacked 105 tons of ivory consisting of 16,000 tusks, and 1 ton of rhino horn, from stockpiles around the country, in preparation for it to be torched on Saturday to encourage global efforts to help stop the poaching of elephants and rhinos. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

    A ranger from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) stands guard near some of around a dozen pyres of ivory, in Nairobi National Park, Kenya Thursday, April 28, 2016. The wildlife service has stacked 105 tons of ivory consisting of 16,000 tusks, and 1 ton of rhino horn, from stockpiles around the country, in preparation for it to be torched on Saturday to encourage global efforts to help stop the poaching of elephants and rhinos. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Maasai in ceremonial dress stand around after having their photograph taken with visitors, next to one of around a dozen pyres of ivory, in Nairobi National Park, Kenya Thursday, April 28, 2016.  The wildlife service has stacked 105 tons of ivory consisting of 16,000 tusks, and 1 ton of rhino horn, from stockpiles around the country, in preparation for it to be torched on Saturday to encourage global efforts to help stop the poaching of elephants and rhinos. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

    Maasai in ceremonial dress stand around after having their photograph taken with visitors, next to one of around a dozen pyres of ivory, in Nairobi National Park, Kenya Thursday, April 28, 2016. The wildlife service has stacked 105 tons of ivory consisting of 16,000 tusks, and 1 ton of rhino horn, from stockpiles around the country, in preparation for it to be torched on Saturday to encourage global efforts to help stop the poaching of elephants and rhinos. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Ivory statues stand in front of one of around a dozen pyres of ivory, in Nairobi National Park, Kenya Thursday, April 28, 2016. The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has stacked 105 tons of ivory consisting of 16,000 tusks, and 1 ton of rhino horn, from stockpiles around the country, in preparation for it to be torched on Saturday to encourage global efforts to help stop the poaching of elephants and rhinos. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

    Ivory statues stand in front of one of around a dozen pyres of ivory, in Nairobi National Park, Kenya Thursday, April 28, 2016. The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has stacked 105 tons of ivory consisting of 16,000 tusks, and 1 ton of rhino horn, from stockpiles around the country, in preparation for it to be torched on Saturday to encourage global efforts to help stop the poaching of elephants and rhinos. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)  (The Associated Press)

Kenya is set to burn 105 tons of elephant ivory and more than 1 ton of rhino horn, believed to be the largest stockpile ever destroyed, in a dramatic statement against the trade in ivory and products from endangered species.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to set fire to 12 pyres of ivory tusks Saturday afternoon to be witnessed by dignitaries including visiting presidents.

Kenyatta said Kenya will push for the total ban on trade in ivory at the 17th meeting of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species in South Africa, later this year.

Kenyan wildlife authorities say illegal ivory smuggling in Africa and the killings of elephant and rhino increased after the 2007 temporary lifting of a ban on trade in ivory.