Nigeria takes firm action against illegal wildlife trade

The Nigerian government has taken a strong stance against the illegal wildlife trade by destroying an $11 million stockpile of confiscated elephant tusks. This move sends a clear message that Nigeria will not tolerate the trade of endangered wildlife. Experts reveal that thousands of elephants are killed each year for their tusks, despite a global ban on ivory trade.

The recent destruction of almost 2.5 tonnes of elephant tusks in Nigeria marks one of the largest seizures in the country. Some of the tusks had already been carved into artworks for sale. In order to create a lasting symbol of the importance of elephants and Nigeria’s commitment to protect them, the ivory will be pulverized into powder and used to build a monument.

Conservationists warn that Nigeria has become a major hub for the illegal trade in animal parts, with Asia being the largest market for these products. In fact, just a few months ago, nearly four tonnes of seized pangolin scales were publicly destroyed in Nigeria.

The situation for elephants in Africa is dire, with their population dwindling. A recent report estimates that there are currently fewer than 500,000 elephants in Africa, compared to over 1.3 million in the 1970s. Nigeria itself has only around 400 remaining elephants.

Sadly, human-elephant conflict is also a contributing factor to their decline. Elephants are often killed when they come into contact with humans or destroy crops. Disturbingly, a video surfaced in December showing soldiers shooting two elephants that had wandered onto farmland, prompting public outcry.

The destruction of the ivory stockpile and the ongoing efforts to combat the illegal trade of animal parts are positive steps in the right direction. It is crucial that governments around the world strengthen their regulations and enforcement to ensure the protection of endangered wildlife.

By taking firm action against the illegal wildlife trade, Nigeria is setting an example for other countries to follow. Governments must collaborate and invest in wildlife conservation efforts to prevent further declines in elephant populations and protect other endangered species from exploitation.

It is everyone’s responsibility to raise awareness about the devastating consequences of the illegal wildlife trade and to support initiatives that aim to protect and preserve our planet’s biodiversity. Together, we can make a difference and ensure a better future for wildlife.