Pangolins are the most trafficked animals in the world. The small, adorable scaly animals are critically endangered because of how much they are targeted by poachers. Ten thousand pangolins are illegally trafficked each year. They’re killed for their hard meat and scales which are used in traditional medicine. But they are so gentle and shy that they curl up into a ball when threatened and the stress alone of captivity can kill them.
One-fifth of the vertebrates on land are affected by the wildlife trade and it’s driving the mass extinction of many species. Pangolins are one of the animals most at risk of going extinct thanks to the appalling wildlife trade. Recently, a rescue took place that gives us hope for pangolins and can hopefully raise awareness on the plight of these innocent animals.
A baby pangolin estimated to be just under a year old was recently rescued by the ZoPosological Society of London (ZSL) from poachers. It’s believed the small animal (about the size of a puppy) was kept alive because poachers can make more money by selling a live pangolin for its scales and meat than a dead one. The poachers took the baby at night from the wild. The pangolin, nicknamed Kosin, was released back into the wild at the beginning of this month.
Dr Eileen Larney, ZSL Conservationist says: “It was an extraordinary moment to watch Kosin being released back into the wild and then take his first steps back to the wild, but sadly his story is rare. Our team was able to get to him in time, care for him and return him to the wild. Thanks to the support of our donors and our incredible team he has been given a precious second chance, something many thousands of his species do not get. A single pangolin is worth up to three months’ wages for rural villagers in Thailand and is considered as valuable as a lottery win. However, to combat the illegal pangolin trade we must stop poaching at the source. It’s a complex puzzle which requires global collaboration to both reduce demand and increase protection. This story would have had a very different ending without the quick response of park rangers and ZSL’s conservation partners. Like all pangolins, Kosin faces an uncertain future but in moments like this we have hope.”
Pangolins desperately need our help. To raise awareness for these endangered animals and to urge authorities in Asian countries to protect them, sign this petition!
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