The Pangolin often called the scaled ant-eater, is more closely related to the African carnivores. They eat 70 million insects a year and search for food at night. The Pangolin is almost entirely scaled apart from its face and underbelly. When they are rolled-up, they become impenetrable for lions, leopards, and tigers. If these carnivores come to close, the Pangolin will release a harmful acid that scares of its hunter. The Pangolin can walk on all four legs. However, when going faster, they use their tail for balance while running on their behind legs. While doing this, their arms are in a T-Rex like position. There are eight species of this scaled mammal, 4 in Africa and 4 in Asia. The African species are vulnerable, but the Asian species are either endangered or critically endangered.
The Pangolin is believed to be the most trafficked animal in the world. From 2006 to 2015, over a million pangolins were poached for traditional medicine, food, and tokens in Asia. Since the Asian species have become protected, the market has changed its attention to the African Pangolins. In April 2019, in one week, two shipments to Singapore of both around 14 tons of pangolin scales were intercepted in Nigeria – this is an estimated amount of 72000 Pangolins. Pangolins are poached with ease because they roll-up when in danger and poachers can pick them off the ground. Pangolins are highly sought after in Asia since they are used as traditional medicine. The scales should work for lactation issues, blood circulation, and cancer. However, non-of, this is scientifically proven. Only the super-wealthy eat the animal because the meal costs around $1750 per Pangolin.
The scaled animal is protected by international law, and trade is illegal. However, this does not stop the poachers from importing this animal, since the demand is still high. That’s why organizations are trying to change the publics’ view of the animal. So, the Pangolin is no longer a luxury item or medicine.