Sep 142017

Thai officials, acting on a tip, stopped two pickup trucks this week and made the heartbreaking discovery of 136 live pangolins, and nearly 1,000 pounds worth of their scales.

Although these pangolins were lucky to be found while still alive, many others aren’t as fortunate. Sadly, these unique little creatures are being hunted to the brink of extinction for both their meat, which is considered a delicacy by the affluent in some countries, and for their scales, which are mistakenly believed to have medicinal properties.

The Director-general of Thai Customs Department, Kulit Sombatsiri, told Reuters, “The smugglers keep doing this because the payment is so high and there are lots of demand for the consumption of these wild animals.”

Photo credit: Thinkstock.

Even though some progress has been made to stop the trade, including giving them the highest level of protection available under international law, large-scale seizures like this one continue to highlight the need for more action on their behalf.

Pangolins might not get the attention that other charismatic species like elephants, rhinos and tigers get, but they’re now considered the most heavily trafficked mammal in the world and serious concerns have been raised that humans will eat them off the face of the earth if drastic measures aren’t taken to stop the trade.

According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) more than one million have been poached from the wild over just the past decade, which breaks down to one pangolin being taken from the wild every five minutes.

Today, all eight species of pangolins who are native to Africa and Asia are listed as threatened with extinction on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Chinese and Sunda pangolins are listed as “Critically Endangered,” while Indian and Philippine pangolins are “Endangered” and all four species in Africa are listed as “Vulnerable.”

Sombatsiri added that his department has already seized more than 2.9 tons of pangolin-related items and made 34 arrests this year, but record-breaking incidents elsewhere have also raised serious concerns about the future of pangolins.

The survivors in this case are being cared for at a conservation area by Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation. Hopefully they will be returned to their rightful place in the wild, and their tragic ordeal will help raise awareness about the threat trafficking continues to pose.

Take action!

You can help show your support for pangolins by signing and sharing the petition urging leaders of nations with the power to make a huge difference for pangolins to develop and implement comprehensive strategies that will stop trafficking within their borders.

This article was  first published by on 01 Sep 2017.

We invite you to share your opinion whether there should be a tough crackdown on the trafficking of Pangolins? Please vote and leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

Should there be a tough crackdown on the trafficking of Pangolins?

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Editorial Comment: The purpose of this poll is to highlight important wildlife conservation issues and to encourage discussion on ways to stop wildlife crime. By leaving a comment and sharing this post you can help to raise awareness. Thank you for your support.


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Carmen Caron

Ouiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii à 100%

Josiane Melchior

Never ever hurt an animal!

Tara Wikramanayake

Man’s greed and thoughtlessness are beyond comprehension. Please make these killings illegal.

Ann Schroeder Williams

voted, the food demand for certain cultures is horrific, from dog/cat to pangolin, to lions paws, and more. selfish demand for endangered species. it is just appalling.

Joelle Jojo Mamour Barrier


Kathleen Colley

I find these questions from Focusing on Wildlife superfluous! Ofcourse we all agree that animals of any type should not be hunted, killed or poached. What we would like is F o W
to run petitions that we, worldwide could sign , and be presented to the relevant authorities so we could be DOING something to help these poor, miserable creatures from the human predators that are causing the extinction of countless species.

Ken Billington

Kathleen, Focusing on Wildlife does invite you to TAKE ACTION by signing and sharing a petition to save pangolins from the illegal wildlife trade (see foot of article above)!

Norma Hurt

yes without a doubt, we should leave our wild life alone and let them live. crazy nuts will do anything to make money.

Isabelle Fernandès

Sondage en bas de l’article : “Devrait-il y avoir une répression difficile contre le trafic de Pangolins?

Oui (98%, 180 Votes)
Non (2%, 3 votes)
Ne sait pas (0%, 0 Votes)
Nombre total d’électeurs: 183


Poor, sweet, gentle beings… The extent of self centeredness, greed and cruelty we humans are capable of is staggering, heartbreaking. But this is one of the direct results of a society based on capital, where everything comes with a price tag. We are the one and only specie that pays to live on Earth!! Until we change, we’ll continue to destroy the intricate ecosystem that sustains all life on the planet. We need to wake up NOW, time is running out!

Arlene Labbe

Rhetorical question. We should NEVER harm or touch animals, they do NOT belong to us. Their home is in the wild.

Jane Bravin Rudner


Barry Frederick Baudains

Voted. There should be a very heavy smash down on cruelty to these innocent creatures.

Debbie Macmillan

Pangolins are wonderful, unique animals and it is terrible that these shy, gentle beings are being poached for food to the danger of their extinction in the near future!

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