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2 Arrested, 53kgs of Ivory Worth Sh10 Million Recovered in Embu

Two suspected poachers were Friday arrested and ivory worth Sh10.6 found on them in Embu.

Officials from the National Police Service and Kenya Wildlife Service arrested the two suspects in possession of three pieces of elephant tusks weighing approximately 53 kilograms.

Police said they will be arraigned for the offences of dealing in and/or possession of wildlife trophy.

Officials said the seizure shows up to ten elephants had been killed and there is a likelihood the incidents happened in the nearby Meru National Park.

This is despite stringent measures in place to address the menace of poaching in the country and region.

In July this year, two herders accused of illegally possessing elephant tusks were given stringent bond terms of Sh1 million each after being charged Mombasa.

They were accused of dealing in ivory and allegedly found with Sh2 million worth of elephant tusks by KWS detectives.

Elephant tusks fetch a fortune in the black market as a surge in demand for ivory in the East continues to fuel the illicit trade in elephant tusks, especially from Africa.

Officials say despite a ban on the international trade in ivory, African elephants are still being poached in large numbers.

As part of efforts to stop the menace, Kenya has started using high-tech surveillance equipment, including drones, to track poachers and keep tabs on elephants and rhinos.

KWS and stakeholders have put in place mechanisms to eradicate all forms of wildlife crime, particularly poaching.

These mechanisms include enhanced community education, interagency collaboration, and intensive intelligence-led operations, among others.

These efforts led to zero rhino poaching in Kenya in 2020-the first time in about two decades.

At least 20,000 elephants are killed annually in Africa for their ivory. This translates to 55 elephants killed daily or one elephant killed every 26 minutes with a population of 35,000 elephants.

On April 30, 2016, Kenya set ablaze 105 tonnes of elephant ivory and 1.35 tonnes of rhino horn.

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta led world leaders and conservationists in burning the remains of 6,500 elephants and 450 rhinos killed for their tusks and horn.

Parliament has also passed strict anti-poaching laws and the government has beefed up security at parks to stop poaching, which threatens the vital tourism industry.

Regionally, Kenya has also emerged as a major transit route for ivory destined for Asian markets from eastern and central Africa.

The illegal ivory trade is mostly fuelled by demand in Asia and the Middle East, where elephant tusks and rhino horns are used to make ornaments and traditional medicines.

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