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WORLD : Kenya Burns Ivory in Plea for Ban

<i> From Times wire service</i> s

Kenya burned 12 tons of ivory worth more than $3 million today in a gesture symbolizing its commitment to protecting the African elephant.

Kenya is leading a campaign for a global ban of the ivory trade, and the bonfire was a message to poachers of elephants that it considers the ivory market closed.

President Daniel Arap Moi, who set alight the ivory in Nairobi’s national park, branded the act as a historic effort aimed at preventing a “terrible environmental tragedy--the extinction of Africa’s elephant.”

Most of the ivory burned had been confiscated by the government from poachers, who have cut Kenya’s elephant herd to 17,000 from more than 65,000 a decade ago.

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