Photo taken on May 29, 2015 shows confiscated ivory to be destroyed at Beijing Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Beijing, capital of China. (Xinhua/Li Xin)
A Chinese businesswoman reportedly behind the trafficking of nearly 1.9 tons of ivory is under online attack in her home country as she has been charged in a court in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The woman, Yang Fenglan, is believed to be behind the dealings which were worth millions of U.S. dollars between 2000 and 2014.
Photo of the "Queen of ivory". (Web Photo)
The news about the woman, dubbed Queen of ivory, sparked wide discussions on Chinese social media. People expressed their anger towards her behavior and support to the Tanzanian court, and they demanded international justice.
The news report on Tencent News (a news app) alone received 20,670 comments within four days.
"No trade, no murder. Yang's behavior is even worse than directly killing those innocent elephants. Murdering animals for human's own interest is too cruel. Sooner or later the never-ending desire inside humans will destroy all mankind," commented a web user screennamed Huixin zilin22.
A web user self-identified as Wang Yihui said that Chinese nouveau riches, usually keen ivory artware collectors, are to blame for the illegal dealings. "Ivory artwares at their homes look good, but elephants behind the decorations are bleeding."
Another web user Wan Junjie called for the same punishment on ivory owners as that on drug owners.
On Sina Weibo, the largest microblogging platform in China, a user screennamed South of First Sun discovers the sarcasm in the illegal trade of ivories. "Nothing is more ironic than carving ivories into Bodhisattvas, which symbolize kindness and empathy in Buddhism."
According to media reports, Yang was the secretary-general of the Tanzania China-Africa Business Council. She also owns a restaurant in Dar es Salaam.
Previously a Kiswahili interpreter, Yang went to Tanzania in the 1970s and worked for the historic construction of the Tanzania Zambia Railway.
After her scandal was exposed, a Weibo user screennamed Interpreter Renhua said angrily that "She is a humiliation to Chinese interpreters. She has no respect for the Chinese people who dedicated their lives to the construction of modern Africa. She has no respect for laws."