What A Young Boy Gave Up When He Found A Critically Endangered Pangolin Will Melt Your Heart
A young Sunda pangolin found its way into a small village near the protected Khlong Nakha Wildlife Sanctuary in southern Thailand last year, where the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) has been conducting wildlife surveys. For most of the Thai population, coming across a pangolin is like finding treasure, since the animal can be sold for a vast amount of money due to illegal wildlife trade routes. But this tiny pangolin was about to know a different fate.
What saved the pangolin’s life was the fact that the man who found the creature was a father. It was this man’s son who convinced his father to both protect the animal and get in touch with ZSL, in turn ensuring that the animal would be in knowledgeable, caring hands. It must have been a hard decision for the father to make, as a pangolin can be worth up to an entire year’s wage due to high demand for its meat and scales.
It was the education that ZSL and other conservation groups provided about the pangolin that convinced the boy (and in turn convinced his father) to save the creature’s life, and send him back home if believed ready by the experts.
ZSL immediately deemed the little pangolin healthy enough to return to the wild near a ranger station. Thanks to the little boy who had seen the positive influence of animal conservation around him, this lucky pangolin was saved.
Stories like these are not the norm when it comes to the fate of tens of thousands of pangolins from Asia and Africa. They are currently thought to be one of the most illegally trafficked animals on Earth.
The Sunda pangolin is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN, and all pangolin species are threatened with extinction. Still, they are poached relentlessly. Pangolins need a suite of conservation actions to secure their future. These include protection from poachers and greater enforcement action against traffickers. Engaging local communities through education and awareness initiatives and livelihood support, is an essential part of the solution to the current pangolin trade crisis.
GreaterGood.org’s Project Peril is dedicated to saving species, like the pangolin, that are in critical danger and need serious help from humans in order to keep sustainable and healthy populations.
ZSL is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity whose mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This mission is realised through groundbreaking science, active conservation projects in more than 50 countries and two UK Zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.
You can help keep pangolins from harm, and ensure they remain protected. Click here to help.
by Daniel Olitzky, April 19, 2017