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Last Updated: Thursday August 16 2007 06:30 GMT

Warning about cruel souvenirs

Ivory is made from elephants' tusks

Wildlife campaigners are warning holidaymakers to make sure their souvenirs aren't cruel to animals.

Charity WWF says buying things such as coral and elephant ivory carvings is bad for wildlife, as well as illegal.

In the last year UK custom officers seized 163,000 illegal wildlife goods, many made from endangered species.

The haul included things such as handbags made from snakes, lizards or crocodiles and 221 items made from elephant ivory and skin.

These souvenirs are ivory, which is made from elephants' tusks
These souvenirs are ivory, which is made from elephants' tusks

The most common illegal products were Chinese medicines which had been prepared using parts of animals such as tigers, rhinos and sea horses.

WWF spokesman Heather Sohl said: "Many tourists could be unwittingly helping to push some of the world's most endangered species to the brink of extinction - all for the sake of an exotic souvenir.

"Our message is if in doubt don't buy."

To find out more about which items you shouldn't buy, check out the WWF link on the top right of this page.