Pangolin

Endangered baby pangolin takes his first steps after rescue from poachers

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A rescued young Sunda pangolin takes his first tentative steps after being released back into the wild in Thailand, in a series of photographs snapped by staff from international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London). 

The Critically Endangered animal was being illegally kept in cramped conditions and constant darkness by a poacher, before being saved by ZSL staff and local park rangers.

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Nicknamed Kosin – inspired by the Thai name for the god Indra, celebrated as a friend to humanity - by his rescuers, the puppy-sized youngster, estimated to be under a year old, weighed just 1kg and measured 67-centimetres nose-to-tail.

Believed to have been snatched at night by poachers searching for pangolins to sell, experts think Kosin was kept alive as the meat and scales of live pangolins reach a higher price on the black market than those of dead animals.

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Following his rescue, Kosin was given a thorough health check and despite his ordeal found to be in good condition. After a short period of monitoring he was ready to be returned to the wild.

The team from ZSL transported him to a remote, safe place as far away from known poaching hotspots as possible and have been monitoring his release site ever since. They are pleased to report that no poachers have been seen there since his release, giving Kosin the best possible chance of survival.

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Dr Eileen Larney, ZSL Conservationist said: “It was an extraordinary moment to watch Kosin being released back into the wild and then take his first steps back to the wild, but sadly his story is rare. Our team was able to get to him in time, care for him and return him to the wild. Thanks to the support of our donors and our incredible team he has been given a precious second chance, something many thousands of his species do not get.

“A single pangolin is worth up to three months’ wages for rural villagers in Thailand and is considered as valuable as a lottery win.

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“However, to combat the illegal pangolin trade we must stop poaching at the source. It’s a complex puzzle which requires global collaboration to both reduce demand and increase protection. This story would have had a very different ending without the quick response of park rangers and ZSL’s conservation partners. Like all pangolins, Kosin faces an uncertain future but in moments like this we have hope.”

All eight species of pangolin are now threatened with extinction due to widespread poaching. Worldwide, pangolins are thought to be the most illegally trafficked mammal. A seizure of pangolin scales in April 2019 weighed 14 tonnes, representing about 36,000 individual animals. Estimates suggest more than 300 pangolins are poached from the wild every day.

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ZSL is working in Thailand, Cameroon, Nepal, and the Philippines to protect pangolins and other Endangered species from illegal wildlife trade. The team collaborates with communities to raise awareness, find alternative sources of income and create protected habitats where pangolins can thrive.

Drawing on a hugely successful track record of empowering communities across Asia and Africa. – ZSL will continue to support communities in Nepal helping communities to plan and create environmentally sustainable ways to make a living and build the same opportunities for people in Kenya too – home to rhinos and elephants – through its UK Aid Match appeal - For People. For Wildlife.

The future of wildlife and people are intertwined, and long-term success depends on solutions that work for everyone. Through the UK Aid Match appeal ZSL is working alongside rural communities in Nepal and Kenya to set up sustainable ways to make a living, empowering them to feed their families, build independent futures and protect the wildlife they live alongside.


Taipei Zoo Welcomes New Pangolin

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In the early morning hours of March 13, Taipei Zoo welcomed the birth of a male Pangolin. The small, energetic baby is part of the 3rd generation of Pangolin born at the Zoo.

Staff had been carefully monitoring the Pangolin mom’s pregnancy and provided special care prior to the pangopup’s birth. Veterinarians assisted with the birth and the new boy arrived at about 2:45am, weighing in at 132 grams. He has now grown to 293 grams.

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4_TaipeiZooPangolinPhoto Credits: Taipei Zoo

 

The veterinary nurse prepared a special nest of leaves and wood chips to allow insulation and protection for the new one. The new mother kept the baby completely buried in the heap of leaves to protect him from low temps.

Pangolins (also referred to as “Scaly Anteaters” or “Trenggiling”) are mammals of the order Pholidota. The one extant family, Manidae, has three genera: Manis, which comprises four species living in Asia, Phataginus, which comprises two species living in Africa, and Smutsia, which comprises two species also living in Africa. These species range in size from 30 to 100 cm (12 to 39 in). The name pangolin comes from the Malay word "pengguling", meaning "something that rolls up". It is found in tropical regions throughout Africa and Asia.

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Endangered Pangolin Receives Special Care

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On September 30th, the Taipei Zoo welcomed the birth of a female Pangolin, named “Gung-wu”.

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Pangolin taipei 5Photo Credits: Taipei Zoo

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!

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Rare Sunda Pangolin Born in Singapore

Radin the Sunda pangolin hitches a ride on Nita as their keeper looks on

In celebration of World Animal Day this year, Wildlife Reserves Singapore announced the arrival of some of the world’s rarest babies, and among them, a critically endangered Sunda Pangolin. 

Radin the Sunda pangolin being measured by his keeper

Radin the Sunda pangolin in the protective clutch of his mother, Nita

Sunda pangolins Radin and Nita in Night Safari Photo Credits: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

The new baby, ‘Radin’, was born July 13th to his protective mother, ‘Nita’. The birth of the critically endangered Sunda Pangolin, in the Night Safari, is one of the most iconic births for WRS. The species is native to Singapore and is the logo for the Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund. 

Night Safari is the world’s first zoological institution to house the elusive, solitary, and nocturnal creature. In recent years, the endangered Sunda Pangolin has been driven closer to extinction by illegal trafficking, habitat loss and being hunted for their meat and scales at an unsustainable level. According to the IUCN Red List, there have been suspected population declines of around 80% over the past 21 years, and there is a projected future decline of greater that 80% during the next several decades.

Accredited zoos and reserves, like Wildlife Reserves Singapore, are crucial to the future survival of the species. This is the third successful birth of a Sunda Pangolin in WRS since 2011.


A Lizard...? An Anteater...? A Pangolin!

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Pangolins are nocturnal mammals that spend their nights hunting ants and termites and their days curled up in a ball. While they might look like an armadillo, anteater or even a walking artichoke, these unique animals belong to a family all their own. Only a handful of zoos around the world exhibit Pangolins, which are endangered in the wild, making the December birth of this little Chinese Pangolin at the Taipei Zoo an extremely rare occurrence. The toothless pup was found by zoo staffers last month in a hole its mother made after they tried to move her to a heated room during a cold front.

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Newborn Pangolin with closed eyes at the Taipei ZooPhoto credits: Taipei Zoo

Reportedly this baby Pangolin spends its days sleeping, drinking milk and climbing on mom's back for the occasional ride. Check out ZooBorns' last Pangolin pup we shared in 2009!


Orphaned Pangolin Baby

Yes, it's a mammal!  Zoo keepers at Thailand's Dusit Zoo nurse a baby Pangolin. Villagers found the baby abandoned on a roadside in the outskirts of Bangkok. Pangolins curl up when frightened, exposing sharp scales for defense. Babies, like this one photograped Tuesday, have much softer scales, which harden as they mature.

APTOPIX_Thailand_Pangolin_SL101_822596109062009_741765874 SAKCHAI LALIT, AP