8 November 2012

Uganda: Million Dollar Worth Elephant Ivory Seized

Tanzanian police have seized over 200 elephant tusk pieces valued at around a million dollars from 91 different animals, officials said on Oct 31.

Four people were also arrested when the 214 tusk pieces were seized on Monday from the house of a Kenyan living in Tanzania's economic capital Dar es Salaam.

Police said they believed the ivory came from elephants in Tanzania, and that smugglers had hoped to take the tusks by road into Kenya.

"We are continuing with our investigations to dismantle the trafficking network," said Dar es Salaam's police chief Suleiman Kova.

The illegal trade in ivory is fuelled by demand in Asia and the Middle East where elephant tusks and rhinoceros horns are used to make ornaments and in traditional medicines.

Africa is home to an estimated 472,000 elephants whose survival is threatened by poaching and illegal trade in game trophies, as well as rising population causing habitat loss.

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