Baby pangolin in good health a

Image: Facebook/Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital

Baby pangolin in good health after being rescued from poachers in SA

A baby pangolin – who only weighs 2.6kg – is being kept safe at an undisclosed location after he was rescued from poachers in SA.

Baby pangolin in good health a

Image: Facebook/Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital

The Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital (JWVH) recently rescued a pangolin from poachers in a joint operation between various groups across the sector.

Pangolin rescued in SA

The hospital – who is currently the only facility mandated by the South African government to treat and rehabilitate pangolins confiscated in South Africa by the SAPS and conservation law enforcement officers on a long-term basis – took to Facebook to share the news, saying that the baby Temminck’s ground pangolin only weighs 2.6kg and is being kept safe at an undisclosed location for the safety of the staff and the pangolin itself.

May be an image of one or more people and indoor
Image: Facebook/Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital

Pangolins are among the world’s most endangered animals. It is said that it’s the most poached animal on earth and used for everything from food to traditional medicine and yet not many people know about their plight.

Pangolins are in demand largely for their keratinous scales, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine, and for their meat in South-East Asia. This has created a lucrative illicit market run by transnational criminal syndicates. In 2019, authorities reportedly intercepted more than 97 tons of scales from Africa representing over 150 000 animals. But the real poaching onslaught is far higher, as only 10% of the illicit trade is intercepted.

Now, as part of their rescue mission, and to make sure the little pangolin is in good health, the hospital went on to analyse the pangolin’s health.

Standard Protocol

This young pangolin also underwent a computerised tomography (CT) scan – which is standard protocol for all their pangolin patients to ensure that they see what underlying conditions they might not be able to pick up otherwise.

“Overall, this pup is in good health, but does however have a mild lung infection which we are treating and monitoring carefully,” the hospital wrote on Facebook.

What’s more, the hospital is doing their outmost to make sure he adapts.

For the love of milk

“As young as he is, he would ordinarily still have been with his mother in the wild. Our efforts to try and imitate this behaviour include daily walks to forage for termites and ants, but also feeding with a specialised milk formula which he loves.”

The hospital relies on the community for donations and support and shared their details for people who would like to make a donation. You can find more details here if you would like to help.