Trophy Hunters are Smuggling Elephant Ears and Lion Bones Into the UK
There was an even a chair made from elephant skin.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, more than 50 elephants in Africa are killed each day by trophy hunters. Their ears, along with other body parts, are being smuggled into the UK, The Guardian reports.
“There is an ongoing disaster with the Zambian elephant population, which epitomizes the crisis facing the species. In the 1960s Zambia had one of the largest elephant populations in Africa, estimated at over 200,000. Today there are believed to be fewer than 10,000,” the founder of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting said. “Scientists have found that the combined ‘off-take’ of poaching and trophy hunting is now outstripping the reproductive rate of elephants. Without drastic action, there’s a risk that the African elephant could be in a state of terminal decline.”
More than 70 rare body parts from endangered animals were brought into the UK last year from South Africa. Among the smuggled items were two full taxidermized animals, several lion skin rugs and other lion parts, and four skulls. There was an even a chair made from elephant skin.
Elephant ears, tusks, and feet, hippo teeth and crocodile skins have also been smuggled into the country by trophy hunters.
UK minister Thérèse Coffey says the government is taking the issue seriously and plans to “hold a roundtable discussion with organizations from all sides of the debate in order to gain a better understanding of the issues as well as consider any further scientific advice.”
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