Authorities seize 3 tons of pangolin scales in Ivory Coast

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ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — Authorities in Ivory Coast say they have seized some three tons of scales from pangolins, the world's most heavily trafficked mammal.

The small armored creatures are commonly eaten in West and Central Africa as bush meat, but they have been brought to the brink of extinction because their scales are popular in Asian traditional medicine.

The environmental group EAGLE Ivory Coast said Friday that the total value of the seizure is close to $100,000 and represents the remains of about 4,000 pangolins.

The group says eight people were arrested.

More than 1 million pangolins have been poached in the past decade worldwide.

Ivory Coast has increasingly become a transit hub for wildlife trafficking. Authorities in May discovered a stash of ivory valued at $20,000 along with seven panther hides.

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