Today is #WorldPangolinDay – an important day to raise awareness for the Pangolin, which is not only one of the world’s weirdest animals (with a tongue longer than its body) but also one of the most heavily trafficked wild mammals in the world.
Like the rhino and elephant before it, the Pangolin is threatened by trafficking from Asia. Tens of thousands of pangolins are being killed each year.
There’s a demand, particularly in China, for this small mammal’s scales which are sadly believed to be a cure for a variety of things, and its flesh is considered a delicacy. (The Pangolin is the world’s only truly scaly mammal.)
According to the Project Pangolin website (pangolins.org), pangolins are also on the menu in Vietnam, at restaurants which cater to wealthy patrons who want to eat rare and endangered wildlife.
“There is no evidence to support claims regarding medicinal properties of pangolin scales or any other part of the pangolin,” says Project Pangolin.
PANGOLIN IN THE WILD, FILMED IN AFRICA:
There are eight species of Pangolin – four in Asia and four in Africa. Their numbers are declining rapidly in Asia, and pangolin trafficking is now recognised as a serious problem in Africa too.
According to Project Pangolin: “In 2013, an estimated 8,125 of these shy creatures were confiscated in 49 instances of illegal trade across 13 countries. Because seizures represent just 10 to 20 percent of the actual illegal trade volume, this strongly suggests that approximately 40,625 to 81,250 pangolins were killed in just one year.”
To find out more about #worldpangolinday, visit facebook.com/WorldPangolinDay