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Rhino horns and ivory seized in Kenya en route to Asia

15/07/2009 14:50:47

July 2009. Kenyan customs officers and police found some 300 kgs of ivory and black rhinoceros horn on board a cargo plane headed to Asia. The blood that still stained some of the 16 elephant tusks and two rhino horns suggested the animals had been killed recently, said Patrick Omondi of the biodiversity and research division of the Kenya Wildlife Service.

The contraband was hidden in boxes disguised as coffins. The flight originated in Mozambique, stopping in Nairobi en route to Thailand and Laos. It is not known where the elephants and rhinos were killed where the items came from.

Rampant poaching decimated the black rhino population from a high of 65,000 across Africa in the 1970s. Southern Africa now has a population of 3,600 black rhinos, but recent evidence indicates that there has been a sharp increase in poaching in recent months.

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