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Border official on 'heartbreaking' seizures of new ivory

Grant Miller, senior officer on the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITIES) Border Force team at Heathrow has said the market in endangered animal items being trafficked into the country is evolving.

He said there is a significant increase in items in such as ivory from west and central Africa being trafficked through London's "logistic hub".

"We pick up between 5-15 kilo of ivory at time. The heartbreaking thing is it quite clearly new ivory from recently slaughted elephants."

Cyanide poisoned elephants death toll 'reaches 91'

Poisoned elephant carcass at the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe Credit: ITV News

The number of poisoned dead Elephants at the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe has risen to 91, wildlife officials have told the Associated Press.

The elephants were poisoned with cyanide by poachers who hacked off their tusks for the lucrative illegal ivory market. ITV News correspondent Martin Geissler reported on the devastating attack last week.

Police and rangers have recovered ivory tusks, cyanide and wire snares after a sweep through villages close to the park. Credit: ITV News

Officials say cyanide used in gold mining was spread by poachers over the flat "salt pans". They also say lions, hyenas and vultures have died from feeding on contaminated carcasses or drinking nearby.

Nine suspected poachers have been arrested this month after the biggest, most brutal poaching spree on record. Three men were sentenced to up to 16 years in jail.

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