A Stockpile of Elephant Ivory Set Afire to Demonstrate Against Elephant Poaching

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In a public demonstration in the central African country Gabon, President Ali Bongo ignited a government-owned stockpile of elephant ivory on Thursday to fight against the elephant poaching and black market trade of ivory through out central Africa, the National Geographic said.

Two elephant massacres occurred this past year in Gabon, where over half of Africa's forest elephants reside, the Environment News Service said.

According to a June report released by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) elephant poaching has risen to a "crisis level" in the central African region, the National Geographic said.

The June report also stated that ivory seizures have not been this extreme since 1989.

Ivory is primarily used in Asia for artistic purposes, and the demand continues to increase, the National Geographic said.

"Gabon has a policy of zero tolerance for wildlife crime and we are putting in place the institutions and laws to to ensure this policy is enforced," President Bongo said at the ivory burning demonstration.

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