NewsEast & Horn AfricaEthiopia moves against illegal poaching and ivory trade

Thu,24May2018

Posted on Friday, 20 March 2015 18:03

Ethiopia moves against illegal poaching and ivory trade

By Tinishu Solomon

File photo©ReutersEthiopia destroyed 6.1 tonnes of illegal elephant ivory and ivory products on Friday in an effort to conserve the vulnerable species, whose number is dwindling annually.

Ethiopia's move to destroy the contraband follows a similar move by Kenya, which destroyed 15 tonnes of ivory in early March.

The stockpile was burned at a ceremony held at Gulele Botanic Garden, on the outskirts of the capital, of Addis Ababa, where Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonen set a fire to the ivory.

The ivory and ivory products had been intercepted in the past two decades from poachers, as well as on transit at Addis Ababa's Bole International Airport.

Officials on Thursday said the country destroyed the ivory following a court decision and international conventions to which Ethiopia is a signatory.

The number of elephants in Ethiopia is dwindling due to poaching. It now counts approximately 1,900 elephants.

According to the African Wildlife Foundation, African elephants are considered endangered, with about 470,000 left in the wild in 37 countries,

Poaching of the animals and illicit trade in ivory is worth as much as $240 million a year, according to figures from the United Nations.



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