Chinese Port Seizes Mammoth Ivory Shipment
A shipment of mammoth tusks has been seized at a major Chinese port on the Amur River, bordering Russia.
More than 100 woolly mammoth tusks were seized at the port of Luobei along with 37 woolly rhino horn parts and more than a ton of jade.
They were found in concealed compartments in a truck. The truck driver claimed to be carrying soy beans and fled the scene. He was later apprehended.
The largest tusk recovered was over 1.6 meters (five feet). The tusks are believed to have been taken from skeletons in the Siberian tundra, preserved in ice for thousands of years, but becoming more readily available due to global warming.
There is no international ban on the trade, but Chinese officials said the haul was not declared, reports BBC News.
Most mammoth populations have been extinct for over 10,000 years. There are estimated to be around 10 million mammoths preserved in ice in the Arctic, according to BBC News.
It is estimated that more than 50 percent of the ivory sold into China is mammoth ivory.
China announced a ban on elephant ivory to be effective by the end of 2017 to fulfill commitments jointly made by President Xi Jinping and then U.S. President Barack Obama in September 2015. China closed 55 retail ivory stores and 12 ivory carving entities across the country in March this year. Another 105 ivory carving entities and retail outlets are expected to be shut down this year.