A village in India was surprised by a pangolin that wandered into their area, but soon realized they had nothing to fear.
The Hindu says dogs may have chased the rarely-seen creature into the populated area, where it then found its way into the home of a farmer. According to the report, the scaly anteater was ultimately turned over to forest officials, who planned to return the animal to the wild.
Locals were apparently frightened by the pangolin at first, but realized that it posed no threat of danger to them when they observed it feasting on ants. Indeed, these are toothless creatures that can only harm humans if they attempt to handle them.
Pangolins play a very important role in their ecosystems. They’re kind of like earth’s soil caretakers and provide “all natural” pest control!
When they dig up their ant and termite meals or excavate new burrows to sleep in, they help to aerate and mix the soil. This, in turn, helps vegetation grow, which provides food for other animals. Additionally, other wildlife often take up residence in abandoned pangolin burrows.
The scaly anteaters also help keep damage-causing ant and termite pests to a minimum. It’s believed that a single pangolin consumes more than 70 million insects per year!
To learn more about these fascinating creatures, be sure to also check out:
- Pangolins: Natural Pest Controllers and Soil Caretakers
- 25 Facts About Pangolins!
- 8 Things Everyone Should Know About the Booming Illicit Pangolin Trade
Author: Sarah Pappin. Read more about Sarah here.
Image by Dushy Ranetunge (own work) via Wikimedia Commons