COLOMBO: In a first, Sri Lanka today destroyed more than 359 African elephant tusks believed to be worth a whopping 400 million rupees to give a message to poachers that they cannot profit by killing animals for ivory.
The ivory was crushed under tight security at the Galle Face promenade here with Special Task Force and the army on guard.
The tusks believed to be worth 400 million rupees had been confiscated in 2012 en route to Dubai from Kenya.
Sri Lanka Customs Department said the poachers will be discouraged by the action to destroy the tusks to give the message that poachers cant be profited by killing elephants.
John Scanlon, Director General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and Sri Lankan Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake were present on the occasion.
The crushing of blood ivory in Sri Lanka is important as this was the first ivory crush in the South Asian region, and the country will join the international community to curb the illegal international trade of wild fauna and flora and zero tolerance policy towards blood ivory.
The Department of Wildlife Conservation of Sri Lanka named seven flagship animals the “Top Seven Wild Sri Lanka” that are giving priority for their conservation.
They are the asian elephant, leopard, sloth bear, black-necked stork, salt-water crocodile, leather-back turtle and blue whale.