Kenyan authorities in the port city of Mombasa on Tuesday announced the seizure of a massive cache of ivory destined for Malaysia, the second such find this month.
The shipment, found Monday in a container labeled as holding bags of ground nuts, contained 3.2 tons of ivory – including 382 whole tusks and 62 hacked pieces.
A container found last week held nearly 1.5 tons of ivory, hidden in dried fish. It was also Malaysia-bound.
This year, nearly 140 elephants have been slaughtered by poachers in Kenya.
Poaching elephants has skyrocketed across Africa in the last two years as demand for ivory has shot up in east Asia. Elephant ivory can sell for 2,000 dollars a kilogram.
Kenya Wildlife Service spokesman Paul Udoto told dpa by phone that poaching is ”is going to be a high risk, low-reward business,” as the government attempts to crack down on smuggling ivory.
In recent months, Kenyan authorities have stiffened penalties for ivory trafficking, interdicted over 30 rangers and wildlife officials suspected of colluding with poachers, and is hiring 1,000 new rangers. (dpa)
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