Investigation into ivory trade in selected markets and hotels in Lagos, Nigeria
The market growth for wildlife trophy collection is gradually leading to a decline in animal population. Thus, trade in ivory constitutes a potential threat to biodiversity conservation. The extent of this treat was therefore investigated via a 3-month survey of trade in ivory in selected markets and hotels in Lagos, Nigeria. The study showed that ivory trade flourishes in some parts of Lagos State with woodwork and beadwork being used as cover ups, especially in hotels where they are easily accessible to foreign buyers. Ivories are sold secretly to customers in order to avoid arrest. Bar-beach market and Eko Hotel and Suites are the two major locations where ivory are sold in Lagos. However, the Bar-beach market was preferred by buyers for the simple reasons that are not far-fetched. Prices of ivory in Eko Hotel and Suites are considerably higher than ivory items in the Bar-beach market. This may be due to the location of the hotel, which is situated in the up-scale business district of the Lagos Island and is patronized by very wealthy clientele. The use of ivory replacement such as the synthetic products should be encouraged as this will greatly reduce the pressure and demand for wild animal tusks, horns and skin.
Keywords: Ivory collection, Elephant tusk, Souvenirs, illegal trade, Prices, Preference by buyers