Five traffickers were arrested in Senegal last week and over 2,500 skins and animal parts seized, reported Born Free Foundation.
The operations leading to the arrests were led by the Senegalese Ministry of Environment and the police department, who worked along SALF (Sénégal-Application de la Loi Faunique) and a wildlife law enforcement project funded by the Born Free Foundation.
The approx. 2,600 animal parts seized included skins, heads and teeth from lions, leopards, hyenas, pythons and bats.
SALF’s current focus of investigation is a supply centre in Dakar responsible for illegal imports from several countries in Africa and later exports to countries in Asia and Europe.
Adam M. Roberts, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Born Free Foundation, said: “the future for Africa’s lions across the continent is threatened by multiple factors including trophy hunting, disease and agricultural expansion.
“The last thing they need is an illegal commercial trade in their body parts, especially in regions where population numbers have diminished to a dangerously low level, such as West Africa which has as few as 400 lions in three separate and isolated areas.
“But as this significant seizure shows, illegal lion trade is extensive and must be met with improved law enforcement in source, transit and destination countries; clamping down on this illegal trade will give lions a fighting chance”.