Authorities in Vietnam have seized over two tons of pangolin scales and ivory from elephant tusks. State media reports that the poached body parts were shipped from Nigeria hidden inside of wooden boxes.
730 pounds of ivory and 1.7 tons of pangolin scales were listed in the shipping manifest as “high end lumber” and were recovered in northern Hai Phong city, according to Hai Quan Online.
This comes at the end of 2019 after a full year of major blackmarket poaching busts in Vietnam that includes animal parts from tigers, rhinos, elephants and pangolins.
Ivory has been illegal in Vietnam since 1992 but that hasn’t stopped the multi billion dollar blackmarket for these animal parts used in traditional medicine and meat in the case of pangolins.
Three separate species of the pangolin are on the brink of extinction which is sadly no surprise as the pangolin is considered the most trafficked animal on the planet with over a million having been taken from the wild in just the last decade.
How many pangolins are left in the world?
There are eight species of pangolins. Four are found is Asia—Chinese, Sunda, Indian, and Philippine pangolins—and they’re listed by the IUCN as critically endangered.
Are pangolins dangerous?
No they are shy and passive animals with their only self defense being to roll into a ball when predators attack.
What is a pangolin used for?
In traditional Chinese medicine, the scales are used for a variety of purposes. The pangolins are boiled to remove the scales, which are then dried and roasted, then sold based on claims that they can stimulate lactation, help to drain pus, and relieve skin diseases or palsy.
Do pangolins lay eggs?
Pangolins give birth to live young
There are the monotremes, egg–laying mammals like the platypus and the echidna, which branched off from the mammal family tree back when egg–laying was the norm, and never lost that trait. The pangolin may look much like an echidna, but they are not closely related.