Pangolins, The Most Hunted Creature on EarthKeith
Pangolins, being hunted to extinction.
A survey has revealed the lack of knowledge surrounding the plight of the ‘scaly anteaters’, millions of which are killed every year for their scales and meat.
Approx. 300 are poached every day, making these unusual animals the MOST illegally trafficked mammals in the world.
Also known as “scaly anteaters”, they are found in Asia and Africa, and their numbers are dwindling as a result of poaching for international trade.
Pangolins are hunted for their meat, which is a delicacy in China and Vietnam, and the scales are used as ingredients in Asian medicine.
Practitioners believe their scales are capable of treating a range of ailments including asthma, rheumatism and arthritis.
Populations of Asian ones have already reduced massively, and now traffickers have turned their attention to the African species.
A ban on global trade in all pangolin species was introduced in 2016, but it has not been enough to curb the demand for these elusive animals.
Unlike the poaching of elephants and rhinos for their tusks and horns, the hunting of pangolins is still not widely known.
As World Pangolin Day provides “an opportunity for the enthusiasts to join together in raising awareness about these unique mammals”.
They defend themselves by rolling into a ball, just like a hedgehog, and then a poacher can just pick them up.
The criminals behind the trade in pangolins work quickly and efficiently to ensure a good supply of these valuable creatures. It is estimated that 27 new global trade routes are being used every year to smuggle them, or their body parts, into the Asian markets.