April 29, 2009
This is considered the largest seizure in the region since the ivory smuggling boom of the late 1970s and early 1980s. The ivory is estimated at a value of $750,000 (or 60 million Kenyan shillings).
An elephant in Tanzania. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.
Researchers with WildlifeDirect say that the elephants may have been poisoned with Furadan, a particularly strong pesticide. The use of the pesticide has come under scrutiny lately as poachers have used the drug to kill lions and birds in Eastern Africa. FMC Corporation has recently announced the pesticide will be taken off the market in Kenya.
The smugglers pleaded guilty and face up to a year in jail. They will be sentenced on May 4th.
High ivory prices in Vietnam drive killing of elephants in Laos, Cambodia
(02/19/2009) Indochina's remaining elephants are at risk from surging ivory prices in Vietnam, according to a new report from the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC.
South Africa auctions last of 'legal' elephant ivory to China, Japan
(11/07/2008) South Africa sold 47 metric tons of elephant ivory to Chinese and Japanese buyers for $6.7 million in what was the final of four auctions sanctioned by CITES, an international agreement on the wildlife trade.
Elephant ivory auction produces low prices, controversy
(10/30/2008) The first internally-sanctioned auction of elephant ivory since 1999 produced lower-than-expected prices, but plenty of controversy, reports Reuters.