Is elephant poaching in South Asia on the rise?

A recent seizure of elephant tusks in Siliguri, West Bengal in India has once again exposed trans national illegal trade.

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) arrested two person and seized six pieces of ivory weighing over 9kg near a bus stand in Siliguri according to officials.

After acting on specific intelligence, DRI interrogation found that the ivory was smuggled from Nepal with the intention of delivery to a prospective buyer from west Bengal.

At the same time the Central Intelligence Bureau (CIB) are following up an incident where a dead elephant was found with its tusks removed.  The incident occurred in Jhapa district which borders West Bengal.  The CIB have requested DNA analysis so that the link to the Siliguri seizure can be ascertained.

This case is one of several in recent times involving the seizure of elephant tusks in the region.  WildTiger is collaborating with the appropriate parties to further understand what appears to be increase in the poaching of elephants in South Asia.  Tiger and rhino are the two species where investigation priority has been given by authorities in the region meaning other species such as leopard and elephant have not had the same focus despite global pressure on both species.

Elephant poaching is Africa has received widespread publicity and trade in ivory products is being banned in an increasing number of nations.  WildTiger will bring reports on the situation as the dynamics in South Asia are further understood.

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