Malaysian authorities have seized a massive haul of trafficked animal parts, including elephant tusks, rhino horns, pangolin scales and tiger bones worth around 80 million ringgit ($17.9 million).
Authorities discovered around six tonnes of ivory tusks and other animal parts at the western port in Selangor state on Sunday.
The animal parts are thought to have been shipped from Africa, Malaysian Customs Director General Zazuli Johan said on Monday.
Malaysian customs shared photos showing a pile of tusks and other animal parts including an animal skull and jewelry that appears to be made of ivory.
Malaysia is one of several Southeast Asian countries identified by conservationists as a major transit point for illegally trafficked endangered wildlife that is en route to other Asian countries, mostly China.
Many of these animal parts, such as lion bones, are used for traditional medicines. Pangolins, which are scale-covered insectivores about the size of a house cat, are highly valued for their meat and scales, considered a delicacy and valuable in traditional medicine – and have been hunted to their limits.
In 2020, the Chinese government removed pangolin scales from its list of approved ingredients used in traditional Chinese medicine, a move campaigners described as a critical step toward saving the world’s most trafficked mammal.