The Spanish Civil Guard have seized four endangered African elephant legs that were turned into stools and put up for sale on the Internet.
The suspects are two unnamed Spanish nationals aged 67 and 39, and they were arrested after officers from the Alicante Nature Protection Service (Eprona) seized the four African elephant legs that were being illegally offered for sale online.
The police began investigating in November 2021 when they discovered that the legs of the large mammal were being sold online for EUR 600 (GBP 506) after having been converted into small stools.
The police said in a statement: “The investigations, framed within the ‘Prevention and action plan against the illegal trade in protected species’ of the Ministry of Ecological Transition, began in November 2021 and it has been verified how the legs of this animal were being marketed, after each one was converted into small stools.”
The two suspects face two years in prison and a hefty fine each.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) lists the African elephant as a species that has the highest degree of protection, stating that it is critical to improve conservation of the species so as to ensure its long-term survival.
The two remaining species of African elephant, the African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) and the African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana), are listed as ‘critically endangered’ and ‘endangered respectively’, and the police in Alicante said in a statement obtained by Newsflash that they have two suspects in custody.