Saturday, September 30, 2017

On The Perimeter Of The Pangolin - With Jackie Chan

Jackie Chan is known the world over for his amazing action movies and his charitable work. Anything he does attracts global attention and, knowing this, he readily gives his name to what he believes is a good cause.

According to this BBC news article Jackie has decided to join the fight to save an endangered animal - the Pangolin. He's even made a video teaching Pangolins to do Kung Fu to protect themselves!

Many people will have never heard of the Pangolin but in fact it is one of the most trafficked mammals in the world. In the last 10 years more than a million Pangolins have been poached from the wild. 

The Pangolin is native to the Far East and is hunted for its value as a meat product as well as for medicinal purposes (its scales are usually in traditional Chinese medicine). Being hunted to the point of threatened extinction, however, has attracted widespread discussion and attention.

In Malaysia, Pangolin hunting is a particularly big problem in Sabah on the northern part of Borneo. Last month authorities discovered a consignment of 8T of Pangolin scales being prepared for export from a Sabah port. So the Sabah government is now proposing to ban Pangolin hunting and make it a "totally protected" species. Once in force, the ban will mean that anyone convicted on hunting the Pangolin will face a mandatory prison sentence of up to five years.

Our Technical Director Andy Moon was recently in Malaysia on a site inspection where our electric fence security has been installed to protect the perimeter of a newly constructed, gated community. Whilst there he took some well-earned time out to visit areas where many unusual and exotic species of animal and bird still thrive. Such as this monitor lizard ....

and this cute little monkey ....

We did of course ask Andy on his return if he had seen any Pangolins but no luck. Perhaps next time, with the new hunting bans in place the chances of doing so might have improved. Let's hope so :)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Largest Art Robbery In History And Museum Security

Effective outdoor perimeter security is paramount for outdoor sites - anything from the Great Pyramids of Giza to electrical substations, factories, airports and more. However, for some sites they have to focus just as much attention on securing the inside of their buildings. Museums, art galleries and warehouses all have valuable contents that must be protected against theft.

This is exemplified in an announcement made earlier this year when the reward for information leading to the recovery of works of art stolen 17 years ago in Boston was doubled from $5 million to $10 million.

In the early hours of 18 March 1990, thieves broke into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and made off with 13 works of art. None of the 13 works have as yet been recovered.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Now 13 pieces of art may not sound like a large theft but these were no ordinary pieces.

They included the following paintings:
Rembrandt's Storm on the Sea of Galilee (his only seascape)

With the artworks having an estimated combined worth of $500 million, the theft is currently classed as the largest private property theft in history!

Let us hope that the works are eventually recovered and find their way back to where they belong in an environment where they can be fully appreciated by the public.

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about effective museum security systems please visit our dedicated page here where we discuss the case study of the Burrell Collection and how we devised protection for its paintings and glass cabinets.