Customs officials in Thailand recently rescued nearly 100 pangolins from certain death.
They were discovered in a truck on September 25th, when the driver fled after being stopped at a checkpoint in the southern province of Prachuap Khiri Khan, according to the BBC.
The pangolins are worth around $32,000.
The video below is a rare glimpse of an endangered Sunda pangolin in the wild:
Another victim of medicinal myths
Along with tigers and rhinos, pangolins are yet another victim of the myth-based traditional medicine trade.
Researcher and pangolin expert Dan Challender told Malaysia MSN earlier this month that pangolin scales are touted as a cure a wide array of maladies, from “children’s hysterical crying to eyelashes curling inwards”.
He added that there is no sound medical basis to support such claims.
Deputy Regional Director of TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, Chris Shepherd, notes that there is a “rapacious” appetite for pangolins from China and Vietnam.
Rapacious demand for pangolins in East Asia, in particular from China and Viet Nam, where the animals are both consumed and used in traditional medicine practices, is fueling the trade and driving pangolins towards extinction.
There are eight species of pangolin and all populations are in decline, according to The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™.
How to help pangolins
Pangolins need our help. Find out what you can do at:
- TRAFFIC Southeast Asia’s “Twelve in Trouble” awareness campaign
- Education for Nature-Vietnam (ENV)
Pangolins are natural pest controllers. Did you know one pangolin can consume more than 70 million insects per year? Learn more at “11 Cool Facts About Pangolins.”
Image via YouTube.
Article adapted from “Nearly 100 Pangolins Rescued from Smuggler in Thailand” by Rhishja Larson, originally published 09/26/2011 on Planetsave.com