c-ivory2-RTX18ASM-Charles Platiau

Most of the poached ivory traded in China pass through this one city

80%

More than 80% of the poached ivory traded in China pass through the city of Shuidong.

Published   |  Photo by Reuters/Charles Platiau
c-ivory2-RTX18ASM-Charles Platiau
80%

Shuidong’s ivory trade is operated by between 10 and 20 groups. Some are family businesses that have been active for generations.

c-ivory2-RTX18ASM-Charles Platiau
80%

Over the years, they have developed sources, smuggling routes, and business covers, coming to dominate the ivory trade in China.

c-ivory2-RTX18ASM-Charles Platiau
80%

The elephant tusks are poached in Tanzania and Mozambique, and moved in containers, sometimes making many stops on the way to conceal their origin.

c-eleph-RTR3EGWG-Stringer

Reuters/Stringer

c-ivory2-RTX18ASM-Charles Platiau
80%

Located in the southern coast of China, Shuidong is well positioned to receive the ivory by sea.

c-ivory2-RTX18ASM-Charles Platiau
80%

But Shuidong’s ivory trade might end soon. China announced in December that it planned to ban the processing and selling of ivory by the end of this year.

c-ivory2-RTX18ASM-Charles Platiau
80%

The ivory trade is already banned around the world. Over the past decade, Africa’s elephant population declined by 111,000 to 415,000, mostly due to poaching.

Published

Check out more stories below—and please take a quick three-minute survey to help us improve.

Share this story

home our picks popular latest obsessions search