Hundreds protest against elephant trade in Tanzania


Agence France-Presse

Date Published

Around 500 people, half from the Chinese community, protested in Dar es Salaam on Saturday to call for the protection of elephants against poachers.

The so-called “walk for elephants” saw the demonstrators, including the Chinese ambassador to Tanzania, march five kilometres (three miles) through the capital.

China is considered the premier destination for elephant ivory as demand is high, fuelling illegal hunting and smuggling that kills an estimated 30,000 elephants a year.

In December, however, China announced a total ban of the trade and processing of ivory, to be in effect by the end of 2017.

A Chinese man who took part in the protest said the illegal trade had knock-on negative effects.

“Everywhere you go, police and immigration officials treat you suspiciously.. (thinking) that you may be hiding or trying to transport elephant ivory,” he said, giving his name as Lee and saying he was in the furniture business.

Tanzania has one of largest elephant populations on the African continent, attracting many tourists, but is consequently one of the worst affected by poaching.