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Ivories worth KES 4.5m confiscated

23 January 2013, 17:22 Mwangi Karanja

Two ivories valued at KES 4.5 million have been impounded by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) wardens at Kacheliba in West Pokot county.

The ivories were seized after the KWS warden were alerted by residents about a group of poachers who were hiding the tusks weighing more than 100 kgs but they managed to run away after realization that they were being pursued by the officers.

Area KWS assistant Director Daniel Onsembe said the origin of the tusks had not yet been established.

However, it is suspected that the ivories have originated from outside East Africa and most likely DRC Congo owing to their extra large size and weight.

“We are not aware if the Elephants were killed and where the origin of these Tusks is. We have managed to take possession of the two ivories from two people who escaped arrest,” said Onsembe, who is in charge of the Western Conservation area.

Onsembe attributed the rising demand of tusks to their increasing demand in the Asian markets especially in China saying that the situation has hindered the fight against illegal poaching.

He added, “The life of our Elephants is in danger due to a rise in demand as a result of ready market in Asian countries with 1 kg of ivory going for KES 50 000.”

The KWS assistant Director reiterated that stakeholders will soon converge to draft a plan together with the police and custom officers at border points in the western Kenya region  which will help reduce the trade that threatens to destroy the elephant species.

This comes barely few weeks after the massive massacre of 12 jumbos by poachers in Tsavo west.

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