But fast-forward 24 years, and anti-poaching crushes - sparked by Kenya's burns and performed on an industrial scale in the U.S. - have fanned across the globe. This year, several countries have stepped up for pachyderms:
Despite these actions, the outlook for elephants remains grim. Over the past three years, poachers claimed 100,000 African elephants, including famed tuskers Satao and Mountain Bull.
At last year's U.S. crush, National Geographic's Bryan Christy, who admits that it's easy to become jaded covering elephant poaching, wrote: "I began to hear things I hadn't heard before." Among calls for a ban on domestic trade of ivory, and Judy Garber, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, announcing a million-dollar bounty on a prominent Laotian wildlife trafficker, Christy watched an actress throw away her mother's World-War-II-era ivory bracelet.