Born Free has recently been made aware of a very large seizure of trafficked great ape parts in Gabon, Central Africa.
With assistance from Conservation Justice – an NGO offshoot of The Last Great Ape Organisation (LAGA), supported by Born Free – the Gabonese authorities arrested five wildlife traffickers in Libreville on 13th January 2011, revealing a grotesque haul including the heads and hands of over 30 great apes, the tails of five elephants, and the skins of several lions and leopards.
These items have now been impounded and three of the traffickers have already been imprisoned.
Commenting on the interception, Luc Mathot, head of Conservation Justice said, “Putting these dealers behind bars probably has a direct impact on the lives of hundreds of chimps and gorillas. I hope this landmark arrest operation…will serve all of us in proving the importance of law enforcement projects…for the survival of great apes.”
Born Free unites with the wider international conservation community in condemning the illegal trade in wildlife, and congratulates the government of Gabon for taking a strong stance against wildlife trafficking.
More pictures of the haul are below - WARNING, GRAPHIC IMAGES