World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued the following statement from Leigh Henry, Senior Policy Advisor for Wildlife Conservation, in reaction to the news that 300kg of confiscated ivory was stolen from a local courthouse in northern Gabon:
"This bold criminal act underscores the need to support high-level commitments against wildlife crime with action at all levels of government, including on the ground. Gabon has been a vocal advocate against wildlife crime, but it’s imperative that government commitments translate into real conservation action, including securing all stockpiles of ivory so that they cannot reenter the black market that is driving the decline of African elephants.
"Rangers are risking their lives to protect elephants and other wildlife, and law enforcement agencies are hard at work intercepting and seizing illegal ivory. But if there are cracks in the system and deterrents for criminals are insufficient, all of these valiant efforts to combat wildlife crime are undermined."