Yesterday, The National Parks Board (NParks) began crushing $18 million (SGD) worth of illegal ivory, weighing around nine tonnes by an industrial rock crusher and then incinerated.

It will be the largest haul destroyed globally since 9.5 tonnes of ivory was crushed in Malaysia in 2016.

The ivory that is being destroyed comes from various sources and was seized over the years, including 8.8 tonnes – coming from around 300 elephants – that was confiscated from a container which was on its way from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Vietnam in July last year.

Other sources include an abandoned check-in luggage bag en route to Cambodia and Laos via Singapore in January 2014, and ivory bracelets and bird cage accessories carried by a Vietnamese traveller in July 2017.

National Development Minister Desmond Lee, who was at the launch of the centre, said: “The illegal trade in wildlife threatens the survival of endangered species, destroys habitats and disrupts ecosystems around the world. Singapore adopts a zero-tolerance stance on the illegal trade in wildlife… All of us can also do our part to help protect elephants and other endangered species by not buying illegal wildlife products, and also discouraging others from doing so.”

The event also takes place in commemoration of World Elephant Day today.

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