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Kenya Seizes 1,600 Pieces of Ivory

FILE - A Kenya Wildlife Service officer holds an elephant ivory tusk as they are displayed outside the Port of Mombasa's police station, Kenya, July 9, 2013.
Kenyan wildlife officials say they have seized more than 1,600 pieces of illegal ivory from shipping containers bound for Turkey.

The four metric tons of ivory were found hidden inside bags of sesame seeds being transported from Uganda to the Kenyan port city of Mombasa.

Kenyan Wildlife Service director Arthur Tudor stressed the need to increase efforts to stop poachers, and claimed poachers are threatening the elephant population in Kenya and the region.

The ivory trade was made illegal in 1989 under the Convention on International Trade and Endangered Species, but experts say the poaching of African elephants is at an all-time high.

Demand for ivory has remained strong in some Asian countries, where it is used for traditional medicine and ornaments.