Nigeria Destroys Seized Elephant Tusks Worth $11.2m

Nigeria Destroys Seized Elephant Tusks Worth $11.2m

6 months ago
1 min read

In an attempt to protect its dwindling elephant population from wildlife traffickers, Nigeria on Tuesday destroyed 2.5 tonnes of elephant tusks that had been apprehended, worth more than $11.2 million ( N9.9 billion).

The minister of state for the environment, Iziaq Salako, who affirmed that the government had really crushed the tusks, revealed intentions to use the powder of the burnt ivory to build a symbolic national park monument highlighting the importance of elephants to the ecosystem.

The Abuja tusks’ pulverization is reminiscent of an October incident in which authorities demolished four tons of pangolin scales that had been apprehended and were worth $1.4 million.

READ ALSO: Customs Arrests Two, Intercepts N1.7bn Pangolin Scales In Lagos

Thousands of elephants are killed every year for their tusks, even after the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) banned the trade in ivory in 1989.

Nigeria, a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, is known to be a center for the illegal trafficking of pangolin scales and tusks to Asia.

In response, the nation has increased its anti-smuggling initiatives and partnered with multiple international organizations. Working jointly with US, UK, and German investigators, Nigeria made its largest collection of illegal animal parts in August 2021.

An investigation was recently sparked by a social media video showing a soldier shooting two straying elephants onto farmlands. Citizens were deeply outraged by the incident.

In an effort to stop the illegal trafficking of wildlife, Nigerian customs officers detained 14 people and seized 1,613 tons of pangolin scales in 2022.

 


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