4,000 pounds of ivory found in Chinese smuggler's home in Tanzania (that's 200+ dead elephants)

Elephants tusks photo
CC BY 2.0 Flickr

Over 700 pieces of illegal ivory seized

The authorities in Tanzania have won a nice battle in the very difficult war against poaching and smuggling. In the home of Chinese nationals, they've seized 1.8 tonnes (about 4,000 pounds) of illegal ivory, over 700 individual pieces, and that number could increase because they're still counting and cataloguing. It is estimated that all this ivory represents about 200 elephant deaths.

Three Chinese national live at the address – Che Jinzhan, Xu Fujie and Huang Qin - and apart from the ivory the authorities also discovered special weighing equipment and a specially converted Noah minibus which was used to transport ivory and elephant tusks. The minibus also had two different number plates with one set being used for legitimate daytime business and the second set being used for the illegal transport of the tusks. (source)

How was the ivory hidden? Strangely, among snail shells filled with garlic (!), which I suppose is an original way to get nosy people to turn around...

Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

Of course, the owners of the house claim that they were not involved in the poaching and smuggling, that they only operated the snail business, and that others are responsible. That's possible, and I hope that an investigation will find evidence one way or the other. But it still makes them accomplices in this terrible crime against nature; how many poor creatures have died simply because someone wants some bling-bling, a head to put on a wall or a pelt on the floor, some ivory carving to show off to friends. That's just sad...

Via Wildlife News

See also: It turns out cat poop-coffee is not just weird, it's also cruel (video)

Tags: Africa | Animals | Tanzania