Kenya seizes ivory worth 1.16 mln USD in Mombasa

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The officers discovered the ivory after scanning the container, which was declared to be carrying architectural stones.

The move prompted the government to slap a ban of two clearing companies, Three ways Freighters and Mwamba Freight Services that have also been linked with the Tuesday consignment and Hong Kong seizure.

"We have struck out the clearing agents with immediate effect from our KRA Simba system to enable us carry out thoroughly investigation," Gitau said.

"If our customs officials are also colluding with ivory cartels, we will definitely apprehend them for threatening the population of elephants in the country," he warned.

More than 1,000 rhinoceros, an all-time high, have been poached in the last three years, and current poaching of elephants is documented to be the highest since the 1980s. The illegal poaching of wildlife for commercial purposes is also decimating many more species.

KWS has listed elephants, lions, wild dogs, leopards, cheetah, hyenas, Sitatunga, Tana crested mangabey, and Tana red Columbus monkeys as some of the most endangered wildlife species in Kenya.

The number of wild animals in Kenya has reduced drastically, threatening the existence of one of the country's major attraction to tourists, who bring most of foreign exchange, new data released by the KWS indicates.

One of the most affected wildlife species is the lion whose number has reduced by about 1,000 between 2002 and 2008 threatening to wipe off one of the country's largest wild cats.

The country had 30,000 lions in the 1960s when it gained independence from Britain but poaching, drought and human-wildlife conflict have seen the population drop drastically.

Most of the lions in Kenya are found in Maasai Mara that host 825 of them followed by Tsavo National Park with 675 lions, 230 lions in Laikipia and 40 in Meru National Park with the rest distributed across the country.

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