Kenya Authorities in Ethiopia and Kenya have seized more than 2,600 pounds of bloodstained ivory from about 100 illegally killed elephants at airports, the head of Kenya’s Wildlife Service said Wednesday.
Julius Kipng’etich said trained dogs sniffed out a consignment of bloodstained tusks at Kenya’s national airport late Tuesday. Another shipment of tusks sent by the same individual had been seized Monday at the airport in Ethiopia’s capital.
Both shipments were sent as unaccompanied luggage to Bangkok. Police have launched an investigation and wildlife officials said they will continue to patrol the airport with dogs.
Elephants develop strong social bonds and can even identify family members by their bones, which individuals may return to several times over the years. Kipng’etich said he had seen groups of elephants standing around a dead family member and making a distinctive sound.
“It is as if they are crying: Please don’t wear ivory. Please leave it to the elephants for heaven’s sake,” he said.