And you can smell it; it’s almost like dried blood. There is the smell of death in here. All of these are confiscated trophies,” reports investigative journalist Aidan Hartley. We’ve just been given exclusive access to an astonishingly vast warehouse of government owned ivory in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
For our series finale, Aidan meets with Khamis Kagasheki, minister of natural resources in Tanzania, which stores the world’s largest stockpile of elephant tusks in the world — 90 metric tons. Kagasheki agrees to allow us to take the first-ever footage of the vast warehouse that stores thousands of tusks, valued at $50 million.
Unlike Kenya, Tanzania, one of the poorest countries in the world, has not agreed to burn its stockpile, arguing that the money from a sale could support conservation efforts. An official told us that if an international agency were to buy the tusks with the intention of burning them, they would eagerly sell them. But who would support such an idea?
Many in Tanzania would like to sell the ivory inside the warehouse – it would bring millions of dollars to a desperately poor nation. Others worry that another sale would just drive demand for ivory higher, and that would lead to more poaching. One thing is clear, perhaps the final battle for the elephants is being fought right now.
WATCH THE FULL ONLINE SERIES:
- Battle for the Elephants: Web Series Intro
- Episode 1: The Plight of the Elephant
- Episode 2: Criminal Traders Exposed
- Episode 3: The China Ivory Market
- Episode 4: Massive Ivory Stockpile