According to World Animal Protection, banning wild animals in traditional medicines is the only way to save the pangolin. Photos supplied.
As the world celebrated World Pangolin Day yesterday (February 20), pangolins tragically remain the world’s most traded mammal … surpassing elephants and rhinos. They are poached for use in traditional medicines for their dandruff and flesh, although there is no scientific evidence that their body parts have medicinal value.
Banning wildlife in traditional medicines is the only way to save the pangolin, says World Animal Protection. Photos supplied.
According to a report by World Animal Protection, “Suffering on a Large Scale – Pangolin Poaching for Traditional Medicine Trade”, It is believed that more than a million pangolins have been killed in the last decade alone. mainly traded for traditional medicine.
Between 2010 and 2015, there were 1,270 pangolin attacks in 67 countries and territories around the world. This included 120 tons of body parts, whole animals and another 46,000 individual carcasses.
The report documents the cruel and gruesome manner in which pangolins are poached and slaughtered. how they are hunted and cruelly slaughtered for their scales and flesh.
Edith Kabesiime, Campaign Manager at World Animal Protection, says:
“Pangolins suffer unimaginable suffering when they are smoked and pulled out of their trees and caves, beaten with clubs and arrows, and then boiled, sometimes alive for their scales. Digging up can take hours and expose animals to hours of stress and terror. “
To combat global trade in their bodies and dandruff, and to protect pangolins from the unimaginable suffering they endure, World Animal Protection calls for the following:
- Strongly enforcing national and international laws to protect them.
- Investing in and promoting herbal and synthetic medicine.
- Combined and coordinated efforts by governments, NGOs and the practitioners of traditional Asian medicine, particularly in China and Vietnam.
- Support for alternative livelihoods and education in communities where pangolins exist.
- Removal of Pangolins from the Definitive Traditional Medicine Handbook for Everyone in the Industry.
Facts about pangolins
- Pangolins are nocturnal animals in Africa and Asia.
- They are shy, burrowing mammals covered in hard, overlapping scales.
- They are very important for the control of the ecosystem. It is estimated that an adult pangolin can consume more than 70 million insects annually. Their constant habit of digging also aids in the decomposition cycle and vegetation growth, and their burrows are occupied by many other species as well.
- Because of their very poor reproductive performance, they are particularly prone to overuse. They give birth to one and rarely two offspring annually and, depending on the species, have a generation duration between seven and nine years. This, of course, means that their ability to recover from such high poaching rates is nearly impossible.
- Their ability to quickly roll into a tight ball when threatened also makes them more vulnerable to poachers.
Investec announced this week that it will sponsor Africa’s first pangolin station.
WATCH THE VIDEO: Eye of the Pangolin
If you want to learn more about the pangolin, watch this movie …