Tanzania has sentenced two Chinese nationals Huang Gin, 53, and Xu Fujie, 25, to 35 years in jail for ivory smuggling and bribing police and wildlife officers, the Inquisitr reports.
According to reports, the two were found in possession of 706 pieces of elephant ivory valued at US$3.1 million, suggesting that 226 elephants had been killed to obtain the tusks.
The sentence is believed to be amongst the toughest imposed in such cases but the question remains whether such lengthy jail terms can deter poachers.
Several African countries have been engaged in campaigns against poaching and illegal trade in ivory but the trade seems to be flourishing.
Elephant poaching in Tanzania and other parts of Africa remains a huge problem, with figures estimating that more than 33,000 elephants are poached each year. Put more bluntly, one elephant is killed every 20 minutes as poachers try to get their tusks.
Strategies which have been used to combat poaching:
- Google technology is being employed in Kenya’s Samburu Reserve to create 3D maps using data from satellite tracking elephant collars to provide security for the animals.
- In 2013, a South African game reserve injected its rhino’ horns with parasiticides and pink dye to prevent poaching.
- De-horning of rhinos has been used in Namibia and other countries.
Some of the heavy terms imposed on poachers
- 2012, a court in South Africa sentenced a Thai national to 40 years in jail for selling rhino horns.
- Zimbabwe this year imposed a 35-year jail sentence for a rhino poacher.
- In 2014, South Africa jailed rhino poacher for 77 years.
Source: The Inquisitr