By some estimates, Kenya’s massive ivory bonfire on Saturday—the biggest in history—burned up $150 million worth of elephant tusks.
But that’s not how Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, sees it.
“Kenya is making a statement that, for us, ivory is worthless unless it is on our elephants,” he said before setting the fire in Nairobi National Park, Reuters reported.
Kenyatta meant that quite literally, since some critics have said the ivory-- which The Telegraph estimated could have gotten about $150 million on the black market-- should have been sold to fund conservation efforts.
Kenyatta offered an interesting counterargument to that in an editorial the day before the bonfire.
“No one would be surprised if I said I was going to burn illegal drugs: everyone knows that whatever the price they would fetch if sold, they should not be sold,” he wrote.
And as those 105 tons of ivory continue to smolder, it's burningly clear that they won't be.