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July 21, 2011

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Bonfire in Kenya Spotlights Shameful Illegal Ivory Trade

Dear Friend,

A few decades ago there were 1.3 million elephants in Africa. The bloody, corrupt and merciless ivory trade that precipitated the killing of 600,000 African elephants during the 1970s and 1980s is sadly booming across Africa again. Reports of elephant poaching (possibly 35,000 animals a year!) and ivory seizures are becoming an almost daily occurrence.

Something dramatic needs to be done to protect these magnificent, increasingly imperiled animals — to remind the world to say, no, to scream: "NO BLOODY IVORY!" Yesterday, a dramatic message was indeed sent …

President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya set ablaze 335 elephant tusks (the sad remains of hundreds of elephants) at a ceremony in Tsavo National Park. Born Free staff were at the burn site to witness first hand this noteworthy event. (See more photographs of the ceremony.) 

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Born Free Foundation

By torching the 5 metric tons (11,000 pounds) of ivory, whose contemporary illegal street value is an estimated $7.5 million, the Lusaka Agreement Task Force and the Government of Kenya made one thing quite clear: The ongoing elephant genocide requires immediate action, or one of the world's iconic animals could someday disappear permanently from many African countries.

Born Free USA is passionately committed to ending the killing of elephants for the illegal ivory trade. Please help us in our efforts by making a generous donation to our Elephant Defense Fund. We must do all we can to protect the world's largest land animals from the rifles and chainsaws of vicious poachers, from the greedy criminal syndicates who operate them, and from the unscrupulous dealers who exploit elephants shamelessly worldwide.

For the elephants,

P.S. Read more about Wednesday's elephant tusk burn in Kenya on the Environment News Service website and on MSNBC.com.

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