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African and Asian states reach deal on illegal ivory trade

African and Asian states, including China, reached a deal on Tuesday to tackle the illegal ivory trade, during international talks in Botswana on protecting elephants. The "urgent measures to halt the illegal trade and secure elephant populations across Africa" were agreed upon by states such as Gabon, Kenya and Zambia that are home to the animals and destination countries like China and Thailand, summit hosts the IUCN and Botswanan government said in a statement. jg/lc

Over 300 elephants poisoned in Zimbabwe park: wildlife group

More than 300 elephants and other animals have died of cyanide poisoning by poachers in Zimbabwe's largest game park, a wildlife conservation group said Monday. "In July, around 300 elephants had died from cyanide poisoning in Hwange and were discovered by a group of hunters who flew over the area," Johnny Rodrigues, chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force told AFP. He said other animals that have also been killed include lions, vultures, painted dogs and hyenas.

81 elephants die of poisoning in Zimbabwe

More than 25,000 elephants were poached last year, according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Undercover sting by police, activists nets Togo ivory kingpin

By John Zodzi LOME (Reuters) - A major international ivory trafficker believed to have dealt in the tusks of thousands of elephants over a four-decade career has been arrested in Togo following an undercover investigation by wildlife campaigners. Togolese shopkeeper Emile N'bouke, 58, and a Guinean associate were arrested in two raids on Tuesday and Wednesday in Lome, in the latest in a series of joint operations between activists and police that have netted around 900 traffickers.

Tonnes of ivory being shipped through Togo port

Togolese authorities said Friday they were seeking to dismantle a trafficking ring and stop tonnes of ivory from being shipped through the country's main port after an unprecedented seizure this week. Meanwhile, the man arrested after police seized 700.5 kilogrammes of ivory from his shop in Togo on Tuesday said most of the stock came from Chad. The operation, the first such large-scale seizure by the west African nation's authorities, led to the arrest of Emile N'Bouke, whose shop housed the illicit stock.

Hong Kong seizes ivory, rhino horns and leopard skins

Hong Kong customs seized an illegal shipment of ivory tusks, rhino horns and leopard skins worth more than $5 million, officials said Wednesday. The haul -- which included more than 1,000 elephant tusks -- was the second seizure of endangered species parts in a month in the Asian financial hub, home to one of the busiest ports in the world. Acting on a tip off from mainland authorities on Tuesday, customs officials discovered the illicit goods hidden in a cargo container at the city's Kwai Chung terminal port.

Obama in $10 million effort to cut wildlife trafficking

US President Barack Obama on Monday signed an executive order launching a 10-million-dollar bid to cut wildlife trafficking in Africa, which threatens to decimate rhinoceros and elephant populations. US officials said that Obama, who is in Tanzania, would set up a task force to develop a strategy against the illicit wildlife trade that is estimated to be worth between seven and 10 billion dollars a year.

Hong Kong seizes 113 smuggled ivory tusks

Hong Kong customs officers have seized 113 ivory tusks worth nearly $400,000 on the Chinese ivory market, officials said on Wednesday. The smuggled ivory was seized at the airport on Tuesday in a container marked "spare parts" from Burundi which was bound for Singapore, said an official statement. The total seizure, weighing 300 kilograms (660 pounds), was worth an estimated HK$3 million ($390,000). "Upon X-ray image analysis, the consignment was detected to contain ivory tusks instead of spare parts," the statement said.

Kenya fines ivory smuggler less than a dollar a piece

A Chinese smuggler caught in Kenya with a haul of ivory was fined less than a dollar (euro) a piece, wildlife officials said Tuesday. Kenya Wildlife Service spokesman Paul Udoto said that Chinese smuggler Tian Yi was arrested on Sunday while in transit in Nairobi carrying 439 pieces of worked ivory. The ivory, cut into finger-length sections and painted brown, was "hidden in a suitcase and mixed with tree bark to disguise it as traditional medicine," Udoto said in a statement.

Poachers massacre 89 elephants in Chad: WWF

A group of poachers last week massacred 89 elephants in one night near the town of Ganba in southern Chad, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said in a statement Tuesday. Some 50 Arabic-speaking poachers on horseback carried out the mass killing of the elephants, including 33 pregnant females and 15 calves last Thursday night, the WWF said, citing local officials. According to the organisation the Chadian army was sent to stop the poachers.
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