Published November 11, 2012
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Customs authorities in Dubai have seized ivory worth as much as 15 million dirhams ($4.1 million) from more than 100 poached elephants.
The UAE's state news agency WAM reported Sunday that authorities at the Jebel Ali Port seized the ivory hidden in a shipment of green beans. They said it came from an unnamed African country but did not say where it was headed.
The elephant population in Africa has dropped in the past 40 years by more than to 600,000, mostly because of poaching. A global ban on the ivory trade in 1989 briefly halted the slide.
Conservationists say poaching, especially in central Africa, now reduces elephant numbers by 60,000 every year. Port cities like Dubai are key transport hubs for ivory, most of it destined for China.