New campaign launched in zoo, bird park and River Safari to battle illegal wildlife trade

SINGAPORE - Gory images of rhinos that have been butchered for their horns and bear cubs killed for their gall bladders have gone up on signs in the Singapore Zoo, Jurong Bird Park and River Safari, as part of a new campaign to battle illegal wildlife trade.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), which runs the attractions, and wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic launched the You Buy They Die campaign on Saturday. It aims to raise awareness about the threats faced by animals in the wild.

The signs also feature facts on wildlife crime and are meant to curb public demand for exotic meat, traditional medicine, pets and luxury items.

WRS chairman Claire Chiang said: "Illegal wildlife trade often goes unnoticed in our day to day living, but can have devastating consequences, pushing many animal species to the brink of extinction. It is imperative that people understand how the diverse markets for animal parts can severely threaten the survival of these species.

"We hope that by presenting the facts to our visitors, people will be more conscious and do their part for the conservation of endangered wildlife."

The zoo will also run an education trail from March 14 to 22 to teach children what they can do to fight illegal wildlife crime.

Apart from launching the campaign, WRS and Traffic signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen and formalise their partnership.

dshea@sph.com.sg