When the group researching conflict between rangers and poachers, and conservationists and others profiting from the wildlife trade presented to the class their research plans, it was suggested perhaps they could also 'ask an expert'.
Arwyn: My aunt and uncle protect turtles and sharks in Australia. My uncle has to like track the sharks and things.
Teddy: Like the scientist was doing to the birds when we went to Sungei Buloh.
Arwyn: Maybe I could ask them for you.
Nora: And my sister knows quite a bit, because she researched it for her exhibition. We could ask her.
We emailed Ms Batlaw and asked whether Tuva and her group members would be interested in coming to speak to us and answer some of our classes. Ms Batlaw told us they would be happy to and today they paid us a visit!
Xianhang: People want the elephant tusks for ivory. So people kill them for their tusks.
Southeast Asia buys the elephant tusks.
From 2010 to 2012, 33,000 elephants were killed every year.
Emanie: So they aren't anymore?
Tuva: No, they still are. It's every year, about that.
Kieta: 33,000 is 33 and three zeros behind it.
Xianhang: China buys elephant tusks, because they think it's good for luck and good for health. And it shows how rich they are.
You can buy ivory in China.
Tuva: Like in Africa it's not illegal, but in many other countries it is, like China. In some places you will get a large fine.
Emanie: How do they get the tusks out?
Xianhang: They kill the elephant and cut the tusks out.
Tuva: Sometimes they don't even kill it. They just cut the tusks out.
Nora: How are the statues made?
Xianhang: They are carved.
Griff: Why do they want 'raw' ivory?
Praveen: Because they can do anything they want with them. They can make whatever they want.
Adam: Why are they burning the ivory?
Tuva: Because they don't want people to profit from it. So maybe it's confiscated.
Lucy: But why do they just destroy it?
Tuva: Because if people know that is going to happen, maybe they won't kill the elephants anymore.
Arwyn: But if it's illegal in most countries, how do people get it?
Xianhang: They buy it on the black market.
Griff: What's the black market?
Tuva: It's when they sell things in secret, things that are illegal.
Johnny: But how do they know where to go then?
Xianhang: Maybe someone asks them if they want to buy it and tells them where to go.
Tuva: Or maybe they look on the Internet.
Praveen: It's done kind of in secret, though. And it's not just ivory. It's lots of other things too. Like illegal pets.
Praveen: And are we just here to talk about poaching of elephants or can we talk about other animal rights issues too?
Ms Leah: Sure, we'd be interested in hearing about other issues too, wouldn't we, Class?
Praveen: What would you do if you saw a snake like this?
Johnny: Walk away. Like slowly walk away.
Griff: Yah, like give it space and slowly back away from it.
Siena: And go upstairs or wherever.
Praveen: Would you kill it?
Praveen: No, but some people would. The best thing you can do, after you safe, is go upstairs and call ACRES. Has anyone heard of ACRES?
Praveen: What's ACRES?
Arwyn: They rescue animals, wild animals.
Griff: Like if an animal is hurt or something.
Praveen: So actually ACRES says if the snake is in the wild and it's not trapped or anything then you should just leave it and it will go away, but if it is trapped or it's not in the wild then you should call them. Don't try and trap it yourself or anything.
Adam: But is it poisonous?
Praveen: No, that one is a python. It's not poisonous, but it's big and dangerous. And there are lots and lots of them in Singapore.
Adam: Why aren't they dangerous to ACRES?
Praveen: Because they know how to handle them. Also do you know what this is?
Class: It's a monitor lizard.
Praveen: And there are lots of monitor lizards in Singapore, and they can grow to be really big.
Griff: Are they bigger than a Komodo?
Praveen: No, a Komodo dragon is the largest lizard in the world, but monitor lizards are the second largest. They are usually found in canals, because they like water. Again, if there is one injured or trapped, you can call ACRES.
And do you see these birds? These are rock pigeons and some people want to kill them.
Praveen: Because they don't like them. There are lots of them in Singapore and some people don't like them so they poison them. ACRES will give them medical help and release them.
Arwyn: But why don't people like the rock pigeons?
Praveen: They don't like them.
Xianhang: And maybe they think they can carry disease.
Praveen: And people don't care about this bird, but because they put out poison for the rock pigeon then this bird also dies.
Adam: What happens if someone poisons them?
Praveen: ACRES will help the bird.
Adam: But what if ACRES actually see someone poisoning them? Will they go to jail?
Tuva: They'd probably get a fine.
Praveen: Do you know this animal? It's an Indian Star Tortoise? And have you seen one before?
Praveen: In the wild?
Praveen: Well, you shouldn't have, because actually they are not a native species to Singapore. What happens is some people bring like 300 babies in one luggage to Singapore. Then they sell it to people, especially Chinese people because they think it is good luck. Then some people get bored of them and they release them into the wild, and they affect the native ecosystem. ACRES rescues them.
Griff: But how can they put like 300 baby turtles in one suitcase?
Praveen: They are really small. They are like this.
Claire: But how can they even survive in there?
Praveen: That's the thing. They can't. Maybe they put 300 in there and maybe only 100 survive.
Johnny: But how do they get them through the airport?
Tuva: The machines at the airport mostly pick up metal and they are hidden. So a lot of the machines don't pick them up.
Griff: But it's so expensive, the ivory, will people still kill the elephants?
Xianhang: What you can do is stop buying ivory and tell others not to. Black market is also tiger skin, shark's tooth, etc. Also illegal pets are sold.
Praveen: Have you seen our elephant garden?
Arwyn: Yes, it's all the bottles. The colourful bottles.
Praveen: And it's different now, because we planted some plants around it.
Arwyn: But why is it there?
Tuva: It's to spread awareness.
Keita: I read an elephant before. In Thailand.
Praveen: Yes, probably many of us have. Who else has? But actually it's not so good, because they are trained since they are babies and sometimes they are hit and things.
Lucy: And sometimes their legs are chained together, I saw.
Praveen: And we also have a quick video to show you.
Siena: Do you know anything about the people who are trying to stop poaching from happening?
Tuva: Yes, a lot of countries have made it illegal to traffic in ivory.
Siena: But what about the people in Africa trying to protect the animals? Like the rangers.
Tuva: We didn't really learn about that.