Updated: 03/14/2014 02:30 | By Agence France-Presse

Philippines to build elephant monument from destroyed ivory

The Philippines is to build an elephant monument from the ashes of seized tusks it destroyed in a landmark action against the ivory trade, an official said Thursday.


Philippines to build elephant monument from destroyed ivory

A member of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau shows the cremated remains of confiscated elephant tusks at the Bureau of Animal Industry facility in Manila on June 26, 2013 - by Noel Celis

The ash will be mixed with concrete to build a giant sculpture of a mother elephant protecting her calf, said Josie de Leon, chief of the environment ministry's wildlife division.

"It is a reminder to everyone about the Philippines' historical action regarding the destruction of ivory," she told AFP.

The sculpture will stand about four metres (13 feet) tall when completed later this year at the same Manila park where the tusks were destroyed, de Leon said.

The Philippines crushed five tonnes of elephant tusks with a backhoe in June last year, becoming the first Asian country and the first country without native elephants to destroy illegal, confiscated ivory.

The crushed tusks were later burned in an animal crematorium in a demonstration of the country's determination to shed its image as one of the world's worst hotspots for illegal African ivory trading.

The Philippines took the landmark step three months after it was named by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) as one of eight nations that was failing to do enough to tackle the illegal trade in elephant ivory.

It was criticised for its role as a transport hub for African ivory being smuggled into other Asian countries where it is used in statues, trinkets and other items to showcase wealth. 

Demand is also high in the Catholic Philippines, with the ivory used for religious icons.

The United Nations and conservation groups have warned the demand for ivory is leading to the slaughter of thousands of African elephants each year, possibly leading to their extinction. 

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MSN Video is temporarily unavailable.

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。