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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Elephants in Tanzania finally Have their day in Court

Elephants in Tanzania finally have their day in Court. Conservation groups in Tanzania and throughout the world have long decried the ivory industry. Trafficking in ivory has long been blamed for the poaching of elephants in Tanzania, which has resulted in the alarming decline in the elephant population there plummeting from 110,000 in 2009 to 43,000 in 2014. China, home to one of the world’s biggest ivory markets, has even recognized the seriousness of the situation and passed laws banning all trade in ivory and ivory products in 2018.

Elephants in Tanzania finally Have their day in Court

Elephants in Tanzania finally Have their day in Court (3)

Markets such as these are filled with Illegal Ivory

Chinese ivory trafficker Yang Feng Glan, known as the “ivory queen,” was arrested in 2015. Over three years have passed since Yang Feng Glan; a 69-year-old Chinese woman was arrested in Tanzania, accused of trafficking 860 elephant tusks worth 5.6 million dollars between 2000 and 2014. Known by locals and worldwide traffickers to be one of the most prolific ivory traffickers operating in Africa, she earned the nickname the “ivory queen.”

Elephants in Tanzania finally Have their day in Court 2

Finally, in February of this year, Glan along with two accomplices was found guilty in Tanzania by Kisutu Court magistrate Huruma Shaidi, for hunting elephants in Tanzania. She and her two accomplices were each sentenced to fifteen years in prison, with two years extra if they don’t each pay an 11.8 million dollar fine. The fine, according to the magistrate, is equal to twice the market value of the elephant tusks the prosecution was able to link to their smuggling ring directly. All three defendants have appealed the decision.

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An Elephant in Tanzania lost his life to create this type of Souvenir

The demand for ivory throughout Asia has continued to fuel the slaughter of these magnificent animals in numbers approaching hundreds of thousands over the years. Many animal rights activists while happy to have some justice doled out to these particularly well-known smugglers, do not believe the Tanzanian government is doing enough to protect more elephants from the hands of these poachers. The fifteen years sentences and the unusually high fines are being viewed as an important signal that the government is going to step up its efforts to curb the tide of poaching.

Elephants in Tanzania finally Have their day in Court 5

Elephants in Tanzania finally Have their day in Court

Most environmental groups believe that there are only 350 to 400 thousand wild elephants left on the African continent. With poaching being the number one threat to the elephants, China Geng Shuang, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, endorsed the conviction. Shuang stated, “We don’t shield the illegal activities of Chinese citizens, and support the relevant Tanzanian authority’s just investigation and trying of this case by the law.” The simple fact that that the ivory queen and her accomplices received the severe sentence and fine is being seen by many as a signal to poachers to stay away from elephants. China’s recent historical ban on ivory trading and Tanzania’s willingness to bring the leaders of poaching rings to trial are both positive signs for the future of Africa’s elephant population.

Elephants in Tanzania finally Have their day in Court (1)

Elephants in Tanzania

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Rene Peters
Herm Peters is a travel blogger and Food Blogger.

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