1 November 2012
An update on press coverage of the international illegal ivory trade.
This period’s seizure figures represent at least 861 dead elephants*.
Kenya: At Jomo Kenyatta Int’l Airport in Nairobi 856kg of ivory bound for Nigeria and Kuala Lampur are uncovered in two seizures; 4 tusks are recovered in Nakuru County; at Naivasha 3 are arrested and 6 tusks recovered; 2 pieces of ivory are recovered in Nairobi County. Mozambique: At Mupotu airport, two Chinese citizens are arrested in possession of 25kg; at Mavago in Niassa Province, police seize 4 tusks. South Africa: Nr Cape Town Int'l airport 2 cargo crates are found to contain 46 tusks. Tanzania: 10 people arrested with 5 tusks in Mpanda District. Uganda: 426kg of ivory in 5 metallic suitcases at Entebbe Int'l airport on flight bound for Malaysia. Zambia: At the Lusaka Stadium construction site, two Chinese citizens are arrested with a variety of worked ivory pieces. Zimbabwe: 107kg and 2 large tusks, in Harare and Zibagwe, Kwekwe respectively; police surprise poachers who flee, leaving behind 8kg of ivory and 50kg of bushmeat.
Operation Worthy: An Interpol operation, spanning 3 months and 14 African countries nets nearly 1.8 tonnes of ivory and over 200 arrests.
China: In Hongkou 780 ivory carvings are confiscated from 2 shops. India: In Mumbai 1 tusk is recovered; 2 are arrested in Rajaji Park, Uttarakhand with 2 tusks; almost 7kg is impounded in Goa. Thailand: Acting on a tip off, 456kg of ivory seized at Bangkok Int’l airport. Vietnam: 19kg of worked ivory is recovered from a passenger arriving from Angola just outside Hanoi Int’l Airport.
USA: 7 tusks and multiple other items of animal origin are seized outside Los Angeles Int’l Airport; around 1 tonne of ivory carvings seized from jewelers in Manhattan. New Zealand: The Auckland Int’l Mail Centre finds a carved tusk leading them to investigate the addressee and seize a further 69 ivory carvings
Elephant poaching news for the June-September period includes… 5 arrested in southwestern Chad in connection with the poaching of 63 elephants; two incidences involving electrocution of 5 elephants using live wires; in Tete Province, Mozambique 6 arrested for poaching elephants using anti-tank mines. One media report states that over a three year period in Tanzania an estimated 31,348 elephants were killed by poachers...
* Customs authorities and police agencies can only do so much – seized tusks, carvings, chopsticks and jewellery represent a small percentage of all the illegal ivory in trade at any point in time. It has been estimated that in order to supply this total amount, 38,000 elephants – at least 8% of the entire African elephant population - are being killed annually.