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Global online campaign to save elephants launched

By Daniel Psirmoi | April 25th 2016
Conservationist Robin Hollister (in white) walks past piles of ivory stacked for burning on Saturday at Nairobi National Park. [Photo: Peter Muiruri/Standard]

A global online campaign to save elephants and rhinos has been launched ahead of burning 105 tonnes of ivory stockpile on Saturday.

Environment Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu and US Ambassador Robert Godec at the weekend officially launched the social media campaign to save the two endangered species, as a prelude to the torching of the wildlife trophies.

Hundreds of people, including conservation experts, wildlife enthusiasts and students turned up at the function in Nairobi, with millions from over the world participating in an online twitter conversation.

Twitter was awash with anti-poaching messages after the launch of the campaign, with one of the hashtags #WorthMoreAlive trending for the better part of Saturday evening with most of the people committing themselves to save the animals.

Speaking at the event, the CS said all is set for the mass destruction of the tusks and the horns which is timed to coincide with an April 29 Giant summit on the protection of elephants in Kenya.

Hollywood Stars

President Uhuru Kenyatta will lead the torching of the ivory that is estimated to be worth Sh31 billion at Nairobi National Park on April 30.

He will be joined by a number of Hollywood stars and global celebrities at the ceremony which is meant to reaffirm the government’s total ban of ivory trade. “We will destroy the ivory and rhino stockpiles. We are doing this to send a strong message to the world that elephants are worth more to us when alive than when they are dead,” said Prof Wakhungu.

Ambassador Godec reiterated the commitment of the US government to support the Kenyan government in wildlife conservation activities.

“We have worked with Kenya Wildlife Service in many areas including the provision of equipment and even training of rangers. We shall continue offering support to conservation efforts,” said Godec.

Celebrities expected at the ivory burning ceremony on Saturday include as Sir David Attenborough, Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Bloomberg, Nicole Kidman, Yao Ming, Elton John, George Soros, Paul Allen, Kim Tan and Howard Buffet and media tycoon Evgeny Lebedev.

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