After they were caught for capturing and planning to sell a mother and baby pangolin in Zambia, three people have been arrested. Police spent about a week tracking down the criminals and finally located the terrified mamma and her baby on June 12.
The pangolins were found in a wooden box, clinging to each other out of pure terror. The mother was instinctively trying to protect her offspring from the dangerous poachers and black-market animal traders who wanted to make a profit from her life.
Learn more about this daring animal rescue below!
“From the poor condition of the mother and baby, it is thought that they had been in captivity for over two weeks,” Vicky Flynn of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation told The Dodo.
After their rescue, the GRI Wildlife Crime Prevention Project is rehabilitating the mother and her baby. Following their week trapped in the box, they were severely weakened and their lives were at risk.
While it might take a while, once the pangolins recover their strength, they will be released into the Kafue National Park, which is the largest national park in Zambia. There, mother and her baby can be free and happy again.
“They seem to be eating, which is a great sign,” Annekim Geerdes of the GRI Wildlife Vet Program, said in a statement, according to The Dodo. “They will be given a chance to rest and eat well again.”
To help them recover, Geerdes takes the mother and her baby out for a walk every night. Since they are nocturnal animals, they like to feed on insects as night.
While you might think that black market traders are interested in pangolins for their skin, there is actually a growing demand for their meat. The meat and scales are increasingly popular in Asian markets.
Out of every animal in the world, pangolins are the most widely-trafficked wild mammal, with more than 233,980 killed between 2011 and 2013, The Dodo reported.
Three people were arrested in Zambia for keeping this mother and her baby pangolin in captivity. Hopefully they feel the wrath of law and order.
In an unrelated incident, two people on June 18 were arrested, including a ranking official in the Indonesian military, after trying to smuggle eight critically-endangered pangolins in Medan, North Sumatra.
Tulus Hutahuruk, head of law enforcement at the Sumatra Environment and Forestry Authority, spoke about the incident and said that one pangolin sells for about $375 in North Sumatra on the black market.
Pangolins are also known as scaly ant-eaters or trenggiling live in tropical regions throughout Asia and Africa.
Last year, a 29-year-old man in Katete district, Zambia was arrested for possessing a live pangolin.
“According to him, he came with the animal from Mozambique in the company of his two friends who were seated in a vehicle while he was trying to secure market for it,” said Zambia Wildlife Authority spokesperson Sakabilo Kalembwe.
The pangolin is a protected species and must be protected.
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