Officials in Hong Kong have made a second major ivory bust in less than a month, reports the Associated Press.
Customs agents at Hong Kong’s port on Thursday discovered 1.33 tons of ivory tusks hidden among some 400 bags of sunflower seeds in a shipping container. The street value of the contraband is estimated at $1.4 million, but no arrests have been made. The shipment originated in Tanzania.
The seizure comes just two weeks after customs officers in Hong Kong discovered almost 4 tons of ivory representing 600 poached elephants in two containers. The ivory was hidden among plastic scrap and beans, according to the AP.
Elephant poaching in Africa has surged in recent years due to rising demand in Vietnam and China. Ivory is often turned into religious trinkets.
(11/05/2012) For the past five years, Spanish biologist Luis Arranz has been the director of Garamba National Park, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Arranz and a team of nearly 240 people, 140 guards among them, work to protect a vast area of about 5,000 square kilometers (1,930 square miles) of virgin forest, home to a population of more than 2.300 elephants that are facing a new and more powerful enemy. The guards are encountering not only bigger groups of poachers, but with ever more sophisticated weapons. According to Arranz, armed groups such as the Lord’s Resistance Army from Uganda are now killing elephants for their ivory.
(10/22/2012) Hong Kong authorities have confiscated two massive shipments of elephant tusks, totaling 1,209 tusks, stemming from Kenya and Tanzania. Representing over 600 poached elephants, the shipments are estimated to be worth $3.4 million on the black market. African elephants are being decimated for their tusks in recent years with heavily-armed and well-connected poachers—backed by criminal syndicates—killing off whole herds in some cases.
(09/14/2012) The legal ivory trade is failing to protect elephants which are being slaughtered en mass across the African continent to meet demand for religious trinkets, argues a new investigative report published in National Geographic by Bryan Christy.
(09/07/2012) Yuppies, not elderly rural consumer, are driving the trade that is decimating some of the world’s most iconic endangered species, including tigers, elephants, rhinos, pangolins, and bears, said experts meeting at a workshop in Vietnam.