16,000 pounds of ivory was discovered in a frozen fish container by Hong Kong’s customs authority. It appears that the tusks were removed from approximately 720 elephants.
Watch: Largest haul of ivory to be caught in 30 years
The largest ivory shipment in the past 30 years was seized this week in Hong Kong. The illegal cargo was found in a container that arrived from Malaysia under the guise of a shipment of frozen fish. “The 1,000 boxes were half-empty when we found them with frozen fish put around the ivory,” said customs official Raymond Chan.
The local customs officials who seized the cargo found 16,000 pounds of ivory within- worth about $9 million. WildAid, a conservation group, estimated that the tusks were taken from approximately 720 elephants.
China’s Pearl River Delta region, where the shipment was seized, is one of the world’s major transport routes for the illegal smuggling of endangered species.
“According to the size of the shipment, it seems that Hong Kong was not the last destination and apparently they intended to continue exporting it to other countries,” the customs officials said in a press conference.