Thai customs officers seize largest ever haul of elephant ivory worth US$6 million

Thai customs officers seize largest ever haul of elephant ivory worth US$6 million

Thai customs officers display four tonnes of African elephant ivory worth US$6 million that was seized at a Bangkok port in a container labelled as beans, in the kingdom's largest ever haul of its kind. (Cover photo: EPA)

Tuesday, 21 April, 2015, 11:36am 1 comment

Fatwa issued against hunting of endangered wildlife in Indonesia

Conservationists hope the religious ruling will help protect species such as the Sumatran tiger. Photo: AFP

Indonesia’s top Islamic clerical body has issued a religious fatwa against the illegal hunting and trade in endangered animals in the country, which the conservation group the WWF hailed as the world’s first.

The fatwa by the Indonesian Ulema Council declares such activities “unethical, immoral and sinful”, council official Asrorun Niam Sholeh said.

6 Mar 2014 - 12:49pm

Doomed deer freed to feed China’s elusive tigers

 Siberian tigers, also known as Amur or Manchurian tigers, walk in snow in the Siberian Tiger Park in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province. Photo: Xinhua

High in the mountains of northeastern China, conservationists looking to preserve the endangered Amur tiger – the world’s largest living feline – are releasing deer into the area for the big cats to kill and eat.

16 Sep 2013 - 4:54pm

Save elephants from Chinese ivory trade or we lose them, says researcher

Joyce Poole, a world authority on elephants, has warned that Chinese demand for ivory is driving the worst poaching in history, with more than 7 per cent of the world’s elephants killed for their tusks in the space of a year. Photo: SCMP

More than 7 per cent of the world's elephants were killed for their tusks in the space of a year - the "worst in history", according to one researcher. And with over 40 per cent of the ivory haul bound for China, the biggest market for tusks, Joyce Poole, co-director of conservation group Elephant Voices, is urging Beijing to step in and ban the trade.

17 Jun 2013 - 7:13am 9 comments

Ivory keys on replica piano hit sour note with conservationists

It is expected the exquisite Bechstein Louis XV piano will find a willing buyer in China.

It is undeniably impressive with its intricate woodcarving, abundant gold leaf and stunning miniature paintings in the style of Watteau, but should a grand piano produced in 2013 have real ivory-topped keys?

9 Jun 2013 - 9:19am

Caterpillar plague empties Guangzhou park

Fuzzy white caterpillars at Baiyun Hill in Guangzhou. Photo: Screenshot via Sina Weibo

Local residents and experts say the managers of the state-run park have a case to answer after they recently allowed a commercial event to take place at which thousands of butterflies were set free in the reserve between April 29 and May 12.

2 Jun 2013 - 12:40pm 2 comments

Ocean Park urged to disclose dolphin deaths after 'attempted suicide' video

Dolphins at the Ocean Park Mammal Breeding & Research Centre. Photo: Sam Tsang

Ocean Park moved earlier this week to dispel rumours that one of its dolphins had “attempted suicide” at the park's Marine Mammal Breeding and Research Centre, insisting that it was just normal behaviour.

30 May 2013 - 1:47pm 5 comments

Vietnam fires foe of moon-bear sanctuary

A cub plays inside the rescue centre. Photo: Reuters

A Vietnamese official who campaigned to shut down a moon-bear sanctuary run by Hong Kong charity Animals Asia has been fired after an investigation ordered by his country's prime minister.

26 May 2013 - 6:40am 1 comment

Rare turtles sent to Hong Kong

Special delivery: the five golden coin turtles get weighed in the US before their historic flight to Hong Kong. Photo: Turtle Conservancy

Weighing just 150 grams each, the tiny “passengers” made little impression on the scales as they nestled into their specially built crate emblazoned with the words “This Side Up”, and “Live Reptile”.

13 May 2013 - 9:35am

Hong Kong must act to save pink dolphins, conservationists say

Pink dolphins in Hong Kong waters. Photo: AFP

WWF Hong Kong called for an interdepartmental task force to be set up to find ways to save the dolphin population and for steps to be taken to halt reclamation projects they fear could push the mammals to the brink of extinction in Hong Kong waters.

12 May 2013 - 5:50am 3 comments

Letters to the Editor, May 11, 2013

Li Keqiang and bird flu experts in Beijing. Photo: Xinhua

Struggle gives learning a surprise boost

Universities should aim at whole-person education. With the change to a four-year curriculum, first-year undergraduates can take a large variety of subjects once they enter university, widening their horizons and learning to appreciate interdisciplinary studies.

11 May 2013 - 2:35am 1 comment

Turn back the tide

Paul Rose has participated in approximately 8,000 dives throughout his career.

Paul Rose’s powerful bearing and wind-worn face make him easy to spot in the crowded lobby. Sipping tea at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Rose seems like a man from a different time.

6 May 2013 - 10:21am

Hong Kong's iconic pink dolphins are disappearing fast

A mother with her dead calf in Hong Kong waters in an incident similar to one filmed last week. Photo: Red Door/Dolphin Conservation Society

Figures due next month will show a major decline in the number of pink dolphins - also known as Chinese white dolphins - found in Hong Kong waters at any one time, says Dr Samuel Hung Ka-yiu, chairman of the Dolphin Conservation Society.

5 May 2013 - 5:03am 9 comments

Chinese buyers need to be educated on the ivory trade, says safari expert

Richard Knocker is a safari guide in East Africa. Photo: Sam Tsang

A veteran safari guide from Africa says the only way to stop the illegal trade in elephant tusks and rhinoceros horns to China is by educating mainland buyers.

28 Apr 2013 - 7:25am

Heritage village Kat Hing Wai offers an intriguing gateway to the past

Kat Hing Wai, a walled village built more than 500 years ago in Kam Tin. Photo: Nora Tam

With an intact enclosure and an intriguing history surrounding its iron gates, Kat Hing Wai is one of the highest-scoring villages in the government's grading exercise of historic sites.

25 Apr 2013 - 5:18am