Massive Ivory Seizure in China
One of the largest ever seizures of illegal ivory has taken place in China, close to the southern border with Vietnam. The 707 elephant tusks, 32 ivory bracelets and 1 rhino horn were being transported in wooden boxes inside a large truck, which was stopped for a routine inspection at a highway toll station.
This comes less than 2 weeks after another large haul of 247 elephant tusks was found concealed in a container at Bangkok Port, the first seizure by Thailand at a seaport entry point.
A further seizure was made yesterday in a warehouse on the Vietnam side of the China/Vietnam border, relatively close to where the 707 tusk seizure took place. Police searched through sacks filled with soybeans to uncover 50 whole tusks and 144 cut pieces altogether forming 122 elephant tusks.
We are awaiting details concerning the weight of the 707 tusks, but from the pictures we have seen, the majority are small. This means they may either be from African forest elephants, or young savannah elephants. Not counting the large 707 tusk seizure, so far this year at least 7 tonnes of illegal ivory have been seized by customs and police officials – an extremely worrying trend.