Mombasa is still the main exit point for illegal elephant trade despite the effort by the government to contain the vice. And the Chines are still the largest importers despite their growing trade with Africa – the home of most wildlife.
President Uhuru Kenyatta recently followed the example of his predecessors by burning ivory recovered by law enforcement officers.
But much to Kenya’s credit, poaching in Kenya has gone down, making Tanzania the major source of illegal ivory in Eastern Africa. The other important sources of illegal ivory are Congo and Gabon.
DNA tests show that a small number of kingpins control much of the multi billion dollar illegal trade, and that “these hotspot are very slow to change.”
Some 50,000 elephants are poached every year in Africa, leaving some only 450,000 elephants across the continent.
The biggest buyers of ivory are Asian countries with China taking more than 70 per cent.