Lilongwe Wildlife Trust, an environmental conservation organization in Lilongwe, Malawi, has recently welcomed a very special guest – an adult female pangolin. The pangolin was rescued and brought to the Centre for a thorough health checkup before her release. Because of how extremely vulnerable the pangolin population is, every individual is very important for the species – and this one’s visit to the center was a great reminder of that.
The rescued pangolin was fortunately active and in a good overall condition, weighing 23.14 lbs.
Before returning to her natural habitat in the wild, she received some fluids to be in best possible shape for the journey.
The pangolin is the world’s most trafficked species and they are hunted for their scales, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Although pangolin scales are made of keratin, the same protein that makes up our nails, many believe they have strong healing powers and can treat ailments from asthma to arthritis.
Pangolin skin, scales, and meat are sold on the black market and bring great profits. All eight pangolin species – ranging from Vulnerable to Critically Endangered – are now protected under national and international laws, but the massive international illegal trade is far from stopping – it is even increasing due to growing demand.
The rescued pangolin was very lucky to find herself in good hands and quickly returned to the wild. But, when it comes to a species that is as targeted as the pangolin, every day brings countless victims of illegal animal trade. It is only through joined and consistent efforts to bring this practice to an end that pangolins can have a future as a species at all. For more information about saving the pangolin, click here.
To learn more about Lilongwe Wildlife Trust, click here.
All image source: Lilongwe Wildlife Trust/Facebook