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(Hong Kong) (CNN) -- Hong Kong authorities confiscated $26.7 million worth of ivory found in two shipping containers this week.
The illegal goods weighed more than 8,000 pounds, making it one of the biggest seizures of ivory in Hong Kong.
The containers arrived from Tanzania and Kenya, according to Hong Kong customs officials. The agency seized a total of 1,209 pieces of ivory tusks and three pounds of ivory ornaments from the two containers....
Seven people, including one Hong Kong resident, have been arrested by Chinese authorities in connection to the cases, said a customs spokeswoman.
Hong Kong is viewed as a transit point for the illegal ivory trade, feeding into increasing demands in China, according to a Time article published this week.
Elephants are being killed in Africa at an alarming rate as international demand soars for ivory. Much of the demand comes from increasingly affluent Asian countries, particularly China and Thailand.
The last major bust in Hong Kong occurred in 2011, when officials seized a shipment of ivory and rhino horns valued at $17.4 million.
Since the start of the poaching epidemic in 2008 South Africa has lost over 1400 rhinos - a figure that, despite so much effort, increases daily.
The memorandum of understanding – which has been under discussion between to the two countries since September last year – was due to be signed during an international biodiversity conference which ends on Friday in Hyderabad, India. But South Africa's department of environmental affairs confirmed to the Mail & Guardian this week the signing had been called off, with spokesperson Roopa Singh claiming Vietnam's relevant government minister was "not available" to sign it. Singh said discussions with Vietnam would continue in the hope the memorandum could be signed before the end of the year. The news came as South Africa announced that poaching levels had reached a record high, with 455 rhinos killed since the beginning of the year, eclipsing last year's figure of 448.
My first instinct is to want to strangle the people who kill elephants just for their ivory tusks, but then I step back and think about it. These are people desperate to make a living in a place where making a living is difficult to say the least.
I must therefore aim my anger at those most deserving of it: the middle men and the buyers. The middle men are the one's who gain riches from such atrocities, and the buyers only want the ivory as a status symbol- or just because they can afford it.