Animal Story, Pop Culture -

The Most Trafficked Animal on Earth

We have all heard how our marvellous animals around the world are threatened with extinction. From our elephants and rhinos to our whales and turtles, our earth is losing many of the creatures which make it so beautiful. But it’s not always as a result of poaching or deforestation.

One animal is hunted simply as a result of a sad misunderstanding

When you think of poaching, you think of elephants and rhinos hunted for their tusks and horns, or lions hunted as trophies. But one animal is poached on the misguided belief that their scales have medicinal properties - despite a lack of scientific proof.

Pangolin Poaching

In Asia, many believe that a Pangolin’s scales can cure poor circulation, skin complaints and asthma

This belief is driving the species to extinction. To give you an idea of scale, last year authorities in Hong Kong confiscated one of the largest shipments of the animals scales. 8.7 tonnes to be exact. Sadly, this equates to approximately 13,800 pangolins.

Confiscated Pangolin Scales

Pangolin scales confiscated in Cameroon in 2017

Unfortunately, the animal’s defence mechanisms aren’t particularly effective in deterring predators - even when the predators are humans. When threatened, pangolins curl up into a ball, similar to that of a hedgehog. In this motionless state, the animals make easy prey. They are then shipped, either in whole or in parts, to Asia where they are sold for their supposed healing properties.

To make matters worse, attempts to breed the animal in captivity are largely unsuccessful.

Protest Pangolin Poaching

Protest Pangolin Poaching

With the number of pangolins being born massively outweighed by the number being hunted, the future of the species isn’t looking hopeful. At Koala Chess Art, we can only hope people see sense soon and let the breed continue as nature intended.

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