You got your chocolate in my illegally poached ivory! You got your illegally poached ivory in my chocolate! OK, this is probably not destined to be an indelible advertising campaign, but it is apparently a popular (though ultimately not always effective) scheme for smuggling elephant tusks out of South Africa. Officials in both Macau and Taiwan have uncovered shipments of suspiciously heavy candy bars that, upon inspection, turn out to be made out of chocolate-covered ivory.
The recent bust in Macau constituted 583 “chocolate bars” that turned out to be 75 pounds — $76,000 worth — of illegal ivory with a thin chocolate shell. A further 90 bars turned up in Taiwan last year. The moral: Elephant poaching is still alive and well — officials estimate that up to 50,000 elephants are killed for their tusks in a year. But also, be really careful when biting into a chocolate bar in Macau or Taiwan, lest you break your teeth on someone else’s.