As Animal Poaching Surges, Organized Crime Plays Bigger Role
Rhino horn and elephant ivory trafficking may be the soft underbelly of international criminal syndicates, says law enforcement veteran.
Mozambique lost 48 percent of its elephants from poaching in the past five years—a decline from 20,000 to 10,300—the Wildlife Conservation Society reported on Tuesday.
Earlier this month, authorities confiscated 65 rhino horns and 1.2 tons of elephant ivory from a private residence on the outskirts of Maputo, Mozambique's capital. It was the largest illegal wildlife bust in the country’s history.
Six days later, the largest seizure of illegal ivory anywhere in more than a decade was made in Singapore. The shipment, which included 4 rhino horns and 22 teeth from big cats—was en route from Kenya to Vietnam.
Seizures like these are indicative of the ongoing devastation of rhinos, elephants, and other wildlife in Africa to satisfy demand, mainly in China