2,000 Burning Elephant Tusks Send Clear Message To Poachers

The country of Cameroon just showed the world exactly how it feels about the ivory trade.

On Tuesday, Cameroon officials, wildlife activists and more gathered 2,000 elephant tusks and 1,753 other ivory products into a massive pile ... then set it all on fire.

In what is being called one of the largest burnings of poached ivory in African history, Cameroon now joins a group of countries including Mozambique, Ethiopia, Malawi, Gabon and Chad to send a clear message about the practice.

Thousands of endangered African elephants die every year because of poachers going after their ivory tusks. It's an ongoing crisis despite a ban on the international ivory trade.

"Destroying this illegal ivory sends a clear signal to poachers and traffickers that Cameroon is increasingly serious about cracking down on the illegal ivory trade," said Dr. Hanson Njiforti, the national director for World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Cameroon, in a press release. "But this important symbolic act needs to be followed up swiftly by concrete efforts to catch wildlife criminals and ensure they are prosecuted."

Elephants aren't the only victims of illegal poaching - people also breed rhinos just to cut off their horns.

"All of our countries can and must do more," Samantha Powers, America's U.N. ambassador, told the Associated Press. "The only place ivory belongs and the only value ivory has is on elephants."