A Kenyan and a Tanzanian pleaded guilty on Monday to illegal possession of ivory after being caught with hundreds of kilos of elephant tusks in one of east Africa’s biggest seizures for years. The two men were driving a car loaded with 512 kg (1,129 lbs) of tusks when they were arrested in Kenya on Saturday, 50 km (30 miles) from the Tanzanian border.

ivory“The actual value of the ivory is incalculable bearing in mind that it was extracted from 35 to 40 massacred elephants,” the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said in a statement.

“The haul represents unspeakable cost to our tourism industry as well as the ecosystems … This is a major setback to efforts by Kenya to recover its elephant population after it dropped from 167,000 in 1963 to the current 33,000,” it added.

The two men will be sentenced on May 4.



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