NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 5 – A consignment of ivory worth millions of shillings has been impounded by police in Mombasa.
The elephant tusks said to number more than 200, were seized at a yard in Tudor estate early on Thursday morning.
Mombasa police boss Geofrey Mayek stated that they had arrested a Kenyan following discovery of the tusks.
“It is suspected that the tusks were hacked from at least 114 elephants from Tsavo National Park and other neighbouring parks in the region,” an official from the Kenya Wildlife Service stated.
The government overhauled national wildlife legislation by approving the Wildlife Bill in one of the swiftest responses to the recent reports of escalating poaching of elephants and rhinos.
The legislation was operationalised early this year and attracts the world’s most severe penalties.
Offences against all endangered species including elephants and rhinos, or their products now attracts a fine of Sh20 million or life imprisonment
Kenya has been identified as one of the leading transit routes for smuggling ivory out of Africa, with several incidents of ivory seizures and recovery of wildlife carcasses in recent days.
The poaching menace has brought renewed attention to a crisis that has persisted for decades with the steady decline of Africa’s wildlife due to growing human populations and poverty that has put agricultural communities at odds with wildlife for resources.
Conflict between land for wildlife and land for farmers and pastoralists in Kenya has also reached crisis level with rampant killing of lions and elephants among other types of wildlife.