Nearly 350kg of lion bones seized at Oliver Tambo

Posted on 4 October 2019

Officials have seized 342kg of lion bones at Oliver Tambo International Airport and three people have been arrested in connection with the contraband.

In a statement the Department of Environmental Affairs said, ‘When the shipment was inspected, 12 boxes of lion bones wrapped in aluminium foil and weighing 342kg were discovered.’

According to Department spokesman Albi Modise the export of bones from lions bred in captivity is legal, however a special permit is required. The bones are valued for their supposed medicinal properties in Asia and are also used to make jewellery.

Modise said that the three people arrested were foreign nationals, two of them were Zimbabweans. One suspect remains in custody.

In South Africa there are 3,000 lions living in national parks where hunting is illegal and between 8,000 and 12,000 lions living in captivity.

Also read: Saving Simba: 5 things you need to know about the lion trade

Image: Jaco Maritz

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