Sabahi (Washington, DC)

16 January 2013

Kenya: Officials Impound Two Tonnes of Ivory At Mombasa Port

Kenyan officials in Mombasa have impounded more than 600 pieces of ivory weighing two tonnes and worth more than 87 million shillings ($1 million), AFP reported Tuesday (January 15th).

Following the poaching of a family of eleven elephants in Kenya's Tsavo East National Park on January 12th, Kenyan Wildlife Service spokesman Paul Mbugua says poaching is on the rise, despite the authorities' best efforts to curb it. [AFP] Play Video

Head of operations at the port Gitau Gitau said no arrests had been made. He said the documents used to ship the cargo would be used to track its owners.

Two weeks ago, officials in Hong Kong seized more than a tonne of ivory worth about 122 million shillings ($1.4 million) in a shipment from Kenya.

Kenya has recently recorded an increase in poaching incidents. Poachers recently slaughtered a family of 11 elephants and chopped off their tusks in Tsavo East National Park in what officials said was the country's worst such incident in the three decades.

The killing led Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga to appeal for international aid to help Kenya deal with the escalating poaching menace.

According to the Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya lost at least 360 elephants last year, up from 289 killed in 2011.

The international trade in elephant ivory, with rare exceptions, has been outlawed since 1989 after elephant populations in Africa dropped from millions in the mid-20th century to some 600,000 by the end of the 1980s.

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