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Smugglers Arrested With 2 Tons Of African Ivory

Smugglers Arrested With 2 Tons Of African Ivory

Last week, Kenyan authorities apprehended a pair of smugglers trying to leave the country with two tons of ivory and five rhino horns by hiding the loot inside boxes labelled “avocados.”

The boxes, which were destined to be shipped to Malaysia, were seized at Nairobi’s international airport, according to the Digital Journal.

Paul Udoto, a spokesman with the Kenya wildlife Service, told the AP that sniffer dogs from the KWS inspection unit, based at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, detected the tusks.

Although the ivory trade has been banned since 1989, illegal sales have continued to thrive in Asian countries, where the price gone up from about $100 per kilogram ($100 per 2.2 pounds) to $1,800, creating a lucrative black market.

Authorities seized 317 pieces of elephant tusk total, and estimate that the ivory required the deaths of 150 elephants.

Experts warn that if illegal trade isn’t stopped, African elephant populations could dramatically plummet in the next decade. Sierra Leone lost its last elephants in December, and Senegal has fewer than 10 left (MSNBC).

Udoto estimated that it took 20 years to amass the collection, and speculated that it was unlikely the elephants were killed for the tusks but rather that someone collected them from elephants that died naturally.

But given the fact that 271 Kenyan elephants were killed by poachers last year, compared with 37 in 2007, it seems like this optimism might be a little misplaced.

Sign the petition: Stop The International Ivory Trade

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Image Credit: nation.co.ke

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250 comments

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4:05AM PST on Jan 22, 2013

Please leave them tranquil

7:14AM PST on Nov 23, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

2:03AM PDT on Oct 1, 2012

Hope they were punished to the highest extent possible!

9:52AM PDT on Sep 8, 2012

Disgusting..

9:51AM PDT on Sep 8, 2012

Disgusting..

9:33AM PST on Jan 2, 2012

Whoever said yes to the vote isn't aware of the war going on between poachers and those trying to protect them. The elephant ivory didn't come from elephants that died naturally!

4:51AM PDT on Jul 25, 2011

China, Japan and most of the other far eastern countries are the cause of destroying large portions of our ecology, elephants, rhinos, sharks and pollution etc etc. China executes people for minor misdemeaners why not include poachers, users and dealers in endangered species or burn them with the ivory

12:00AM PDT on May 9, 2011

This makes sick! can't express how angry and sad it makes me feel!

4:26PM PDT on Sep 12, 2010

Too disgusted to discuss. :o(

8:46AM PDT on Sep 9, 2010

I have no patience for evilness

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