Washington (TFT) – February 16 was World Pangolin Day, a time set aside to reflect upon the beauty and critical status of the worlds most trafficked mammal, the Pangolin. These unique animals are facing a rapid decline due to hunting and poaching, as was recently highlighted by several devastating raids.
In mid-January, authorities in Hong Kong discovered nearly 8.3 tons of Pangolin scales smuggled in from Nigeria and hidden in a refrigerator. The scales were estimated to be the product of nearly 14,000 Pangolins. It was the largest seizure of scales in Hong Kong history, and along side it authorities additionally seized large amounts of endangered elephant Ivory.
On February 7, police in the Malaysian state of Sabah raided a Pangolin processing center, seizing nearly 30 tons of scales and parts. The raid demonstrated not only the industrial scale with which poachers and traders are selling the animals, but also the rate at which they are being exterminated.
Most have never heard of a Pangolin, few realize just how endangered this small creature is. With its Pokémon-esque build and docile temperament, it is hard to see how anyone could poach such a creature, yet demand is high.
In China and Vietnam, Pangolin meat is considered a delicacy. Its scales are highly sought after for use in traditional medicinal remedies and folk cures. As of 2019, all 8 species of Pangolin are considered endangered.
Yet, there are still heroes out there fighting for its survival. Pangolins have a high-profile actor working to get the message out about their species, Jackie Chan! To view the new WildAid PSA, click below!
The Foggy Times | Hunter Gomez