ARUSHA, Tanzania, Jan. 24 — Tanzania is expected to auction 12,467 pieces of hippopotamus teeth weighing 3.58 tonnes on January 29, official said on Tuesday.
James Wakibara, Acting Director General of the Tanzania Wildlife Authority (TAWA), said in a statement that the auction will be held in collaboration with the country’s Natural Resources and Tourism Ministry. According to statistics from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), since the trade began in 1975, over 770,000 kg of hippo teeth have been traded internationally.
And it is estimated that over 75 percent came from two East African countries: Tanzania and Uganda. Wakibara said that the auction is to be held in the nation’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam on January 29, and the exercise will be supervised by the Ministry of Finance Planning. “The auction is restricted to accredited traders with the first-class license offered in 2017,” a TAWA official said.
Wkibara informed that interested buyers will be entitled to initial payments of at least 25 percent of the total cost on the same day and settle the remained balance within 14 days. Tanzania conducted a countrywide census on hippopotamus in 2001 and the result showed there were 20,079 of them. However, issuance of permits for export of hippo teeth was suspended since 2004 with exception of those obtained through sports hunting.The International Union for Conservation of Nature, which monitors the conservation status of species, classifies hippos as vulnerable because threats of illegal, unregulated trade in their teeth, demand for their meat, and habitat loss are likely to continue. – XINHUA