South Africa police seize 60 kilos of lions’ teeth and claws

Lion, photo: Hamish Weir on Unsplash
Lion, photo: Hamish Weir on Unsplash

South African police have seized about 60 kilos of lion claws, teeth and other items in the northern Limpopo province, the location of several wildlife parks, the environment ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

Police raided a Vietnamese-owned farm near the tourist site of Bela-Bela in Limpopo and two storage units in the capital Pretoria.

They seized 4.2 kilos of lions’ teeth, 680 grammes of lion claws and more than 60 kilos “of processed animal products believed to be lion gelatine”.

A man was arrested for “illegal possession of a threatened species” and appeared in court on Friday. The case was postponed until August 20, the ministry said, because a Vietnamese-English translator needs to be present.

Lions are killed for their claws, skin and bones and are illegally trafficked from Africa to Asia, where their body parts are used in traditional medicine or as decoration.

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