Sri Lanka destroys 1.5 tons of African elephant ivory

Sri Lanka Tuesday destroyed 359 confiscated elephant tusks weighing over 1.5 tons, officials said.

The ivory, seized three years ago in a shipment headed for Dubai, was smashed up by machine in an event open to the public in Colombo, and later incinerated under heavy police protection.

"We want to give a strong message to the world that we will not support any move to slaughter elephants," Minister of Wildlife Gamini Jayawickrema Perera said.

The tusks, with an estimated value of 4.2 billion Sri Lankan rupees (29 million US dollars), were originally shipped from Kenya.

Before the ivory was destroyed Buddhist monks and other clergy led a ceremony in remembrance of the elephants who had been killed.

The international trade in ivory has been banned since 1989 by members of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Last update: Tue, 26/01/2016 - 12:34

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