Quantcast

Hong Kong returns seized rhino horns and elephant tusks to South Africa

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 17:50 EDT
google plus icon
Rhinoceros horns in Hong Kong's Customs and Excise Department Offices [AFP]
 
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

Hong Kong returned a consignment of seized rhino horns and elephant tusks worth $2.25 million (1.66 million euros) to South Africa on Wednesday, authorities said, as poaching for the Asian black market continues to escalate.

The contraband of 33 rhino horns, 758 ivory chopsticks, and 127 ivory bracelets arrived at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport after over a year of negotiations.

“It’s a first for us,” Colonel Johan Jooste of the Hawks special branch of police said of the consignment.

South Africa, whose 25,000 rhinos make up 80 percent of the global population, has been especially hit hard by poaching.

Over 890 rhinos have been poached this year, already 200 more than the number of animals slaughtered in 2012.

The horns, made from the same material as human finger nails, are a popular status symbol in Asia.

South Africa has deployed the army in the world-famous Kruger National Park, and nature reserves have cut off the horns or injected them with ink to curb the hunt, but with little success.

Hong Kong is the main entry point to Asia for the smuggled goods, according to the authorities.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.
 
Google+