This Tuesday, a total of 638 elephant tusks were seized by authorities in the port city of Mombasa, Kenya's second-largest city.Conservationists explain that, throughout the past few months, the price of ivory has considerably increased, which is why poachers are dead set on killing as many of these animals as possible.
More precisely, ivory now sells for a whopping $1,000 (€752.3) per kilogram, and most of the people interested in buying it come from various countries in Asia.
Information made available to the public thus far says that, all things considered, the elephant tusks seized by Kenyan authorities in Mombasa are worth a total of $1.2 million (€0.9 million).
After having had a look at the packaging used to conceal the tusks, police officers concluded that the ivory most likely come from either Tanzania or Rwanda. Furthermore, it is their belief that the tusks were being transported to Indonesia, sources report.
Commenting on the practice of killing elephants and rhinos for the sole purpose of marketing their tusks and their horns, the KWS (Kenya Wildlife Service) Director William Kiprono stated as follows:
“The price of ivory and rhino horn continues to rise by day leading to increased poaching of elephants and rhinos.”
Furthermore, “Growing influence and economic growth in the far east and Southeast Asian countries has increased demand for natural resources, including an increased demand for wildlife and wildlife products.”
The Kenya Wildlife Service also wished to draw attention to the fact that, according to their reports, the year 2012 witnessed the country's losing 384 elephants and 19 rhinos to poaching.
Hoping to convince the general public to become involved in rescuing these animals, William Kiprono made a case of how, when it came to dying, elephants were not all that different from humans.
“When the rhinos, they die kneeling and crying and facing the east. And you know about the elephants - when they die also what happens, when the mass is killed, what happens is they shoot one, and they don't run away, they start crying and surrounding the others, so as they are surrounding they are also being shot,” he said.