HONG KONG — Singapore has found greater than 14 tons of pangolin scales in what conservation specialists known as the biggest such seizure of a single cargo worldwide, highlighting the stubbornness of the unlawful commerce of the scaly anteater.
Roughly 36,000 pangolins had been believed to have been killed for the cargo, based on Paul Thomson, an official with the Pangolin Specialist Group, a company belonging to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The group known as it the largest seizure of pangolin scales on report.
“The news of this record-shattering seizure is deeply alarming and underscores the fact that pangolins are facing a crisis,” Mr. Thomson mentioned of the seizure, which came about final Wednesday. “If we don’t stop the illegal wildlife trade, pangolins face the risk of going extinct.”
Pangolins are believed to be essentially the most incessantly illegally trafficked mammal in the world, with an estimated 300 of them poached day-after-day on common. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has declared all eight species as “threatened with extinction” since 2014, whereas two species are critically endangered.
Singaporean customs officers and the nation’s nationwide parks board mentioned in a statement that the scales, which had been shipped from Nigeria, were headed to Vietnam, home to the second-most lucrative black market for pangolin scales, after China.
In Vietnam, many see pangolin meat as a luxury that conveys social status and health benefits, according to a survey conducted by WildAid in 2015.
In China, about 70 percent of people surveyed by WildAid believed that the pangolin could cure ailments ranging from rheumatism to skin diseases; consumers often drink it in wine or in powder form as part of traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions.
International laws forbid trafficking of all pangolin species, and techniques such as fingerprint forensics seek to deter poachers, but recent seizures have shown that the pangolin is still heavily trafficked around the world.
In February, 33 tons of pangolin meat were seized in two processing facilities in Malaysia, according to Traffic, a wildlife conservation group. Earlier that month, the Hong Kong authorities intercepted a nine-ton shipment of pangolin scales and a thousand elephant tusks.
When Singaporean officials intercepted the pangolin scale shipment last Wednesday, they also found nearly 400 pounds of carved ivory, officials said.
Get more stuff like this
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.
Thank you for subscribing.
Something went wrong.