Despite the obvious protestations of his clients, a ranger in Kruger National Park got out of the safari vehicle at night and kicked a pangolin when it closed into a ball in fright and to protect itself.
“No, no,” a woman called out from the vehicle, when she saw what the ranger was about to do.
“So you can take a picture,” said the ranger, whose name is apparently Veli. “He won’t die.” Then he kicked it. It was not clear where the ranger came from, the park itself or a nearby private lodge, but it was apparently in the Punda Maria area.
A description along with the video on Youtube said the ranger “later made comments about going back to capture the animal so he could charge the public to see it”. (See video at end.)
According to Pangolins.org, which organises World Pangolin Day, “Pangolins are considered one of the world’s most heavily trafficked mammal. These defenseless little beings are being slaughtered to extinction – simply to meet a demand based on superstitions and exploited by greed. Experts warn that the illegal trade in pangolins will render them extinct within our lifetime – yet most people have never heard of a pangolin!”
It was reported on 24 June that a seizure of a huge amount of pangolin scales had been made by Hong Kong authorities.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said, “The seizure by Hong Kong authorities yesterday of a massive illegal 4 tonne shipment of African pangolin scales is symptomatic of the worrying increase in the trafficking to Asia of these iconic species.
“Pangolins, or ‘scaly anteaters’, the world’s only truly scaly mammals, are under increasingly severe threat from criminals profiting by supplying demand, particularly from China and Vietnam, where their meat is considered a delicacy and their scales are an important ingredient in traditional medicines.”
Watch the video: