Libreville: Officers from the Gabonese Ministry of Water and Forest seized 50 tusks taken from 25 elephants killed near Makokou in the province of Ogooue Ivindo northeast of the country, said Friday a source close to the ministry.
The shipment was intercepted by elements of Water and Forestry, while it was in a car from Makokou. It was transported to the capital Libreville where it was in transit to another country, the source added.
The suspected traffickers managed to escape leaving the car and all the cargo. They are actively sought, according to the ministry.
In June 2016, 200 kg of ivory tusks from Gabon were seized in Cameroon.
The elephant is fully protected species in Gabon. The Gabonese Forestry Code provides for hunting, possession, transportation and marketing of products of totally protected species (of which the elephant) are prohibited and punishable by 6 months’ imprisonment and 10 million FCFA maximum fine.
Gabon is home to the largest population of forest elephants. The country has reported losing 11 000 elephants over the past decade because of the illegal ivory trade.
Last May, Libreville brought British soldiers to train Gabonese ecoguards.