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Illegal Ivory Trade Flourishing in W. Africa - 2003-12-15

Two conservation groups say an illegal ivory trade is flourishing in the West African countries of Senegal, Ivory Coast and Nigeria.

The two are the World Wildlife Fund and a group called TRAFFIC, which monitors trade with endangered species. In a joint report, they said more than 4,000 kilograms of illegal ivory is on sale in the three countries.

The report says that volume of ivory represents some 760 elephants - far more than the estimated combined elephant populations in Senegal, Ivory Coast and Nigeria.

The joint report says all three governments are in breach of international regulations on endangered species. It says poor legislation and poor law enforcement in the three countries have allowed the ivory business to thrive.