It started simply enough as they all do: with a phone call. One of Big Life’s informers caught wind of a clue and alerted our trained intelligence team. From there, it can take several days or even weeks, but eventually, an ambush is laid and the criminals are put behind bars.
This time it was a matter of days. Two men, both the broker and the poacher, were busted by Kenya Wildlife Service in possession of 120 kgs of ivory. The ivory likely came from elephants in the Tsavo and Kora/Meru areas.
These two men will be fully prosecuted, and hopefully, they’ll help uncover more of an illegal network that sneaks through borders and into shipments heading for markets in far flung parts of Asia.
In the meantime, the loss of life that this 120 kgs represents is hard to fathom. While we mourn these tuskers, we become ever more resolute in our efforts to shut down the supply of ivory to foreign markets.
Our intelligence team is stronger and bigger than ever before, and indeed this bust is our largest to date. We remain vigilant as we wait for China’s decision to phase out ivory to have a direct impact on the supply we’re seeing still moving in large quantities around East Africa.