On September 30th, the Taipei Zoo welcomed the birth of a female Pangolin, named “Gung-wu”.
The tiny Pangolin, born with eyes half open, began crawling, within an hour of birth, in search of nourishment from her mother. Although the Pangolin mother was a willing participant, she was unable to provide an adequate supply of milk for the new baby.
Zoo staff were patient with the new mother, but when the baby began to lose weight, the decision was made to intervene on behalf of the newborn. Now, zoo keepers provide 24 hour care and feeding for “Gung-wu”, and her weight and health have stabilized.
Pangolins are mammals of the order Pholidota. They are nocturnal insectivores and are native to Africa and Asia. As a result of increasing threats to Pangolins, mainly in the form of illegal, international trade in Pangolin skin, scales and meat, these species have received increasing conservation attention in recent years. In 2014, the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) re-categorized all eight species of Pangolin on its Red List of Threatened Species, and each species is now classified as “Critically Endangered”.
More great photos below the fold!