Part of the hippo teeth consignment are displayed during an auction held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on Jan. 29, 2018. (Xinhua)
DAR ES SALAAM, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- A Tanzanian firm on Monday bought 12,467 pieces of hippopotamus teeth weighing 3,580 kg at an auction conducted by Tanzania Wildlife Authority (TAWA), a government agency overseeing sustainable management of wildlife resource and biodiversity conservation.
Loren Kilasi from Ontour Tanzania Limited Company bought the teeth for 30.9 million Tanzanian shillings (about 15,000 U.S. dollars) and initially paid 25 percent of the total amount. The remaining 75 percent must be cleared within 14 days after the auction.
The auction took place in the headquarters of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
About 20 eligible licensed companies attended the auction.
The government last sold hippo teeth in 2004, TAWA Acting Director of Wildlife Protection Services Mabula Misungwi said, adding that the sale of the teeth is restricted to people who possessed valid licenses and would not encourage poaching.
He said the hippo teeth came from "incidents of poaching or when natural deaths of hippopotamus occur" and that the government decided to sell the hippo teeth because they will decompose after long storage and become useless.