Massive Ivory Haul in Kenya indicates Elephant Poaching and Illegal Ivory Trade Booming

© IFAW - IFAW archive photo
Tuesday, 10 April, 2012
Nairobi, Kenya

A massive seizure of ivory held in a 40-foot container was  uncovered last week by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officials at the port of Mombasa. The consignment, the tonnage of which is yet to be established, has been lying at the port since March 2009.

The consignment was discovered during a normal verification programme of unclaimed cargo that was meant to be auctioned following a directive from the Ministry of Transport to unclog the port facility.

Last December, another consignment with 727 ivory pieces and weighing over 2,500 kilogrammes was intercepted at the same port in Mombasa.

IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare – commends the achievement of Kenya’s Customs authorities, but warns that this is just one consignment in a staggering illegal trade which threatens the continued survival and existence of elephants in Africa including Kenya.

“We congratulate the customs officials for the discovery of this ivory, “said James Isiche, IFAW Eastern Africa Regional Director.

“However, we are concerned about the increased elephant poaching incidences in Kenya and other countries where elephants range. The consignment discovered in Mombasa is proof that elephants were not only killed somewhere, whether in Kenya or any other country, but also that Kenya has become an easy route for criminal gangs to traffic their illicit trophies to the markets,” said Isiche.

“Demand for elephant ivory has been unrelenting in China and other markets in Asia, where the price of ivory has increased dramatically in recent years. The high profit margin that could be gained in illegal trade of ivory is fuelling the rampant poaching and trafficking in Africa. This is a wake-up call for all wildlife authorities and African range states that they need to act now for tomorrow will be too late to save the elephants,” added Isiche.

The year 2011 proved to be one of the most disastrous yet in terms of elephant ivory confiscations.  This year may also portend dire for elephants. In March 2012, IFAW uncovered more than 300 elephants slaughtered in eight weeks in Cameroun’s Bouba Ndjida National Park by poachers.

About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in distress all over the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW provides hands-on assistance to animals in need, works to prevent animal cruelty, and advocates protecting wildlife and their habitats. For more information, visit our website: Follow us on Facebook and Twitter


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