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Even Their Remarkable Tough Scales Can’t Save the Unusual Pangolin

This pangolin was hitting the rusty cage with its head, trying to get out. (Image: Tencent.com)
This pangolin was hitting the rusty cage with its head, trying to get out. (Image: Tencent.com)

If you were asked what the most trafficked animal in the world is, what would you say? Most people might say elephant, tiger, monkey, etc. But the the most accurate answer probably should be pangolin, a rare, scale-covered mammal commonly living in Asia.

A tiny creature covered with thick, hard scales, yet is so vulnerable in front of humans. (Image: Tencent.com)

A tiny creature covered with thick, hard scales, yet it’s so vulnerable to humans. (Image: Tencent.com)

A Pangolin is the size of a large cat, looking something like a friendly crocodile. Pangolins feed on ants and termites. They have a tongue longer than their body. A pangolin can eat 70 million ants in a year. It is a predator of termites, which are one of the top five pests in the world. One pangolin weighing 6 pounds can protect over 4000 acres of forest from the dangers of termites.

angolins were brought to the wildlife rescue center after one of them can not wait to be drilled pockets.

Pangolins were brought to a wildlife rescue center in Guangdong Province. One of them couldn’t wait to go out of the bag. (Image: Tencent.com)

However, in Southeast Asian countries, especially in China, the pangolin is facing a tragic fate as it becomes a delicacy to show off a person’s personal wealth at the dinning table. Their scales are boiled off their bodies for use in traditional Chinese medicine. Thousands of panolins are trafficked, traded and killed in Southeast Asia per year. They are going extinct.

When government officials are feted with a feast of wild animals, pangolin is a must-have dish on the table.

On June 11 2008, police seized 89 pangolins and arrested 5 suspects. The scales of the pangolins were already peeled off. (Image: Tencent.com)

On June 11, 2008, police seized 89 pangolins and arrested 5 suspects. The scales of the pangolins were already peeled off. (Image: Tencent.com)

Pangolin distress will huddle, but this feature facilitates the criminals secret transport.

A policeman applying medicinal lotion on an injured pangolin. (Image: Tencent.com)

When it’s frightened, a pangolin will curl up into a roly-poly ball. Sadly, this feature facilitates the secret transport by criminals, according to Tencent News. Most of the pangolins transported are frozen, and still alive.

On the way to be transported to the wildlife rescue center, a few did not survive pangolin. They experienced the cruelty of poaching, after transportation, long suffering hunger, and eventually die.

While being transported to the wildlife rescue center, a few pangolins did not survive. They experienced the cruelty of poaching, long distance transportation, days of hunger, and eventually they died. (Image: Tencent.com)

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A pangolin grabbed onto the door at a police station in Guangdong Province after it got rescued. It was too frightened, and wouldn’t come down. (Image: Weibo.com)

Its eyes were full of tears. (Image: Weibo.com)

Its eyes were full of tears. (Image: Weibo.com)

 

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