A monthly update on press coverage of the international illegal ivory trade 

This month’s seizures represent at least 168 dead elephants… 

9th February – Japan
A wildlife trade monitoring network (TRAFFIC) publishes results of a Japanese online auction survey, showing an average of more than 20 new listings of ivory per day, all of which are potentially illegal.  Press report

10th February – West Jakarta, Indonesia
Police arrest an online trader of items made from illegal wildlife products.  Tiger skins, ornaments made from ivory as well as bear and alligator skulls are seized from a warehouse in West Jakarta.  Press report

12th February – Tenerife, Spain
Officials of the Civil Guard Nature Protection Service seize 5 elephant tusks from a craft market.  Press report

23rd February - Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Bangkok, Thailand
Eleven boxes labeled as ‘craftworks’ are inspected by customs officials and found to contain 1,026kg of ivory composed of 118 whole tusks and 50 cut pieces, together with 3 rhino horns.  The boxes originated in Lagos, Nigeria, a known hub for the illegal ivory trade, and were originally sent to Doha in Qatar after which they were flown to Kuala Lampur in Malaysia before being re-routed to Bangkok, all of which in an attempt to prevent detection on entry into Thailand.  Press report

27th February – Zimbabwe
The Parks and Wildlife Management Authority of Zimbabwe issue a statement describing the African elephant to be the most commonly poached animal in Matabeleland North, a known hotbed for poachers, in 2010.  Langton Masunda, chairman of the Gwayi Conservancy is quoted as saying that despite the high number of local people detained in connection with poaching incidents, their involvement is limited to killing and transporting the wildlife, with criminal syndicates operating behind the scenes, reaping the profits and evading capture.  The statement also said that 118 tusks and other ivory products totalling around 368kg were seized country-wide last year.  Press report

28th February – Chumphon Province, Thailand
Late in the night of the 27th, acting on a tip-off, Thai police stop a bus travelling north from Hat Yai in the south and seize two elephant tusks packed inside rice sacks found on the bus.  The tusks are believed to have originated in Malaysia and were being smuggled to Bangkok by two men who were arrested in connection with the seizure.   Press report
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