Forensic investigations are currently underway to determine the exact quantity and source of the illegal consignment, which was declared as frozen fish, and could be the largest in 30 years.
While WWF commends the vigilance shown by Hong Kong's authorities in intercepting this illegal consignment, and making crucial arrests, the size of the seizure is a stark reminder of the staggering scale of the global trade in ivory and the devastating impact it has on elephant numbers. Every year, on average, more than 20,000 elephants are killed for their tusks in Africa alone.
"These tusks represent the lives of hundreds of elephants. In the Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania, for instance, almost 90 percent of elephants have disappeared due to poaching in the last 40 years with only about 15,000 remaining. WWF and other partners are working with the government of Tanzania on the ground to recover the elephant population but the magnitude of recent seizures in Asia only serves to highlight the enormity of the task ahead," said Margaret Kinnaird, leader of WWF's global Wildlife Practice.