India busts elephant smugglers

Elephant trade carries on

Five people were recently busted for smuggling wild elephants in India, reminding officials the trade is still thriving despite how difficult it is to transport the massive mammals, according to

In early November, Indian police arrested the smuggling ring and seized three wild elephants after a three-day investigation launched in response to a written complaint by local conservation group Green Heart Nature. The elephants did not have microchips in their ears, as is required of all domesticated elephants.

Indian police found documents showing the group has smuggled nearly 100 elephants from the northeastern state of Assam to other parts of India over the past five years. The practice of purchasing elephants as status symbols has increased in recent years.