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21 elephant tusks seized from poachers in Kenya

Publish date: 19 March 2013
Issue Number: 302
Diary: Legalbrief Environmental
Category: Conservation

Police in Mwingi seized 21 elephant tusks and eight bullets last week from poachers in Mwanzele Forest, Kenya, notes a report in The Star.

'The poachers were found negotiating a price in this area. The residents alerted the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officers, who were in the area carrying out a search. Police found them with the illegal commodity,' said Mwingi police boss Simon Birir. He said as the KWS officers were about to arrest the poachers, three Somalis and their driver, they heard a gunshot. He said the police responded to the shot but nobody was hurt. The poachers escaped with some tusks. An investigation has been launched. The 89kg tusks have an approximate price of R161 267, the report states. Full report in The Star

Also, poachers have killed 28 forest elephants in the Nki and Lobeke National Parks in south-east Cameroon in recent weeks, the conservation organisation WWF said last week. According to a report in The Toronto Sun, with demand for ivory rising from Asia, poachers have reduced the population of Africa's endangered forest elephants by 62% in the past decade, putting the species on track for extinction. Between 10 February and 1 March officials found the carcasses of 23 elephants stripped of their tusks deep in the Nki Park and five in the Lobeke Park, more to the east. 'The poachers used automatic weapons, reflecting their violent character,' a ranger is quoted in the report as saying. Wardens do not have proper weapons to stop poachers, the report states. Full report in The Toronto Sun