YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Wildlife monitors have accused Myanmar of failing to protect elephants after finding 30 tusks and thousands of pieces of ivory for sale at a market near China.
Vincent Nijman of Oxford Brookes University, which took part in a joint investigation with the wildlife monitoring network TRAFFIC, said Tuesday the market at Mong La may be one of the biggest unregulated ivory markets in Asia.
He said ivory was openly displayed. Mong La, in eastern Shan State, is far from government control and attracts many Chinese tourists because of its casinos and nightlife. Myanmar is believed to have the second largest elephant population in the world after India, with an estimated 6,000 left in the wild.
It has laws forbidding trade in endangered species, but violations are rampant, especially in remote border regions.