The nightmare of an elephant, rhinoceros or other endangered species being killed for its parts to be brought into California and sold brings deep pain to David Bess, the chief of enforcement for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“Animal trafficking is a terrible problem,” he said.
Over the winter, California wildlife officers intercepted ivory from endangered elephants, pieces of horn from rhinoceros and other animal parts in San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles.
In San Francisco, wildlife officers seized more than 50 small statues made out of ivory and whale teeth, and a bracelet made out of rhinoceros horn, according to the DFW.
According to wildlife officers, the black market for rhino horn is driven by the fictional belief in some Asian cultures that the horn, ground into powder and sprinkled on food, has curative powers. Agents said a rhino horn can sell for more than $200,000.
Read the whole story in the San Francisco Chronicle