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Authorities in Nigeria have thwarted a smuggling ring that was edging towards shipping thousands of donkey penises to Hong Kong.
Officials told AP that sacks of the donkey doodles were seized at the international airport in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city.
Nigeria Customs Service area commander Sambo Dangaladima told reporters that the consignment was 'falsely declared … as cow male genitals (but) after due examination, my export officers discovered they were donkey male genitals'.
He revealed that 16 sackfuls of donkey appendages were seized.
An investigation has now been launched to trace the donkey penises to discover where they came from.
Obviously, from the bodies of male donkeys. But more specifically, the investigation will focus on who is smuggling the donkey doodles and from where.
According to AP, the seizure of donkey genitals for export from Nigeria is a rare occurence.
Donkey skins, however, are frequently exported or even smuggled out of the country.
Tell you what, if I were a donkey in Nigeria I would be absolutely packing it in right about now.
In July, the Nigerian customs seized $116,000 worth of donkey skins being smuggled into the country from neighbouring Niger, AP reports.
Nigerian officials are trying to curb the export of donkey skins from the African nation as the demand has drastically reduced the number of working animals, particularly in northern parts of the country.
In 2021, Nigerian senators went as far as proposing a ban on killing donkeys.
They also proposed banning the export of their skins.
Muhammad Datti, one of the federal lawmakers who supported the proposed donkey slaying ban pointed the finger at China for the spike in donkey skin trade.
"The major beneficiary in this trade is the donkey [skin] merchants in China," Datti said, as per Euro News.
"This animal is facing extinction [in Nigeria] and it cannot breed in large numbers because of the very low rate of fertility."
British charity The Donkey Sanctuary estimates that some 4.8 million donkeys are trafficked and killed each year for their skins.
Many are used to produce ejiao, a key ingredient in traditional Chinese remedies and can be then used in food, drink or beauty products.
China relies on the international donkey trade as their domestic donkey population has been decimated thanks to ejiao.