WASHINGTON, February 20, 2017 – February 18th was National Pangolin Day, but if the illegal trade in the scaly animal that resembles a miniature dinosaur is not stopped it may soon become National Pangolin Remembrance Day. “Pangolin” comes from the Malay word “pengguling”, or “something that rolls up”. The animals, whose greatest threat is the greed of man, are not reptiles, despite their dragon-like scales that are sought as source of cure for asthma to arthritis in Asian countries, particularly China and Vietnam. The scales, which are made of keratin, have no medicinal value.
The pangolin’s natural defense is to roll up like a ball, or a pill bug, which makes them very easy for poachers to simple pick up. They are live breeders, who have no more than one or two offspring per year. The pangolin fetus and/or infant pangolins are sought after delicacies as are the full grown animals.
China Daily provides more information on this, the most trafficked mammal in the world, that is now critically endangered.
When social media posts about endangered pangolin being eaten at banquets triggered public fury in China last week, a wildlife protection specialist saw a ray of hope. “I hope the scandal will become a turning point in our search and rescue of the critically endangered animal,” said Zhou Canying, head of the Wildlife Protection Association in…