Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicole Kidman and Elton John Expected to Attend Kenyan Anti-Poaching Summit Where 105 Tonnes of Ivory Will Be Set Alight


Max Margan, The Daily Mail

Date Published


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A star-studded line-up of Hollywood celebrities are expected at an anti-poaching summit in Kenya where 105 tonnes of elephant tusks and rhino horns will be torched.

Kenya has suggested Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicole Kidman, Elton John and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will attend, but there has been no formal confirmation of guests.

Other big names include conservation icon and BBC legend David Attenborough, and former basketball star Yao Ming, who has led campaigns in his homeland of China to raise awareness of the damage elephant poaching causes.

Kenya Wildlife Service director General Kitili Mbathi said the ivory will be set on fire ‘in protest at the continued slaughter of the country’s most iconic species.’ 

Wildlife officers started stacking 105 tons of ivory and one ton of rhino horns on Wednesday.

Workers carried the tusks through the mud on to around 12 metal structures built specifically for burning the ivory and other confiscated endangered materials.

There is a threat of elephants becoming extinct in the next 50 years mainly because of poaching bankrolled by the illegal trade in ivory, which is why there is need for dramatic action, said Kenya Wildlife Service director Kitili Mbathi. 

Proponents of the trade in ivory say that rather than destroy it, the sale of ivory stockpiles could fund conservation efforts.

Kenya has consistently opposed the trade in ivory, saying it would encourage the poaching that has decimated the elephant and rhino populations.

Patrick Omondi, deputy director of the Kenya Wildlife Service, said: ‘We strongly believe elephant (ivory) has more value on a living elephant than outside it because humankind can do without ivory.

‘They can do without it, it is not medicine, they use it for bangles. You kill (an elephant of) seven tons to make a bangle, it is madness.’

More than 30,000 elephants are killed for their ivory every year in Africa to satisfy demand in Asia.