Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen set fire a 6.1 tons of elephant tusks in an effort to conserve the vulnerable species and to discourage poaching and trade in ivory.
Ethiopia’s move to destroy the contraband follows a similar move by Kenya, which destroyed 15 tonnes of ivory in early March.
The ivory seized from poachers and traders during the past 20 years has been burned to ashes on Friday March 20, 2015, at the Gulele Botanic Garden. The ashes are set to be used to fertilize 90,000 trees to be planted at the 30 hectare site in the botanic garden where a statue of an elephant will be erected among the trees. The number of elephants in Ethiopia is dwindling due to poaching. It now counts approximately 1,900 elephants.