2 African nations move against ivory poaching

April 6, 2012 - 10:56 AM
Gabon Africa Ivory

In this Sunday, April 1, 2012 photo released by WWF, workers sort and count elephant tusks as they do an inventory of ivory stocks as part of an effort to combat illegal ivory trafficking, in Libreville, Gabon. WWF said in a Friday, April 6, 2012 statement that the Central African nation of Gabon will burn its entire ivory stockpile in upcoming months. They also commended the West African nation of Cameroon for giving fines and prison terms to poachers. (AP Photo/WWF, Bas Huijbregts)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Wildlife conservationists say two African nations are taking strong steps against the illegal ivory trade.

WWF said in a Friday statement the Central African nation of Gabon will burn its entire ivory stockpile in upcoming months. They also commended the West African nation of Cameroon for giving fines and prison terms to poachers.

They say Gabon's move will prevent the ivory from getting into the black market.

Wildlife officials say governments and international organizations met this week in Gabon to forge more cooperation against wildlife crime in the region.

The meeting follows an increase in elephant poaching in Cameroon. This past year has seen an unprecedented increase in poaching of elephants for their tusks, which are smuggled mainly to China and Thailand.