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  • Prior to 2017 no pangolin poacher served any jail time.

  • The common fine was negligible, it's probably less than 100 US dollars.

  • To clamp down and to lock everybody up is can be quite problematic because it is hugely

  • culturally acceptable, we need to make it globally available out there that this animal

  • is going to disappear from your culture and that is a massive thing.

  • Well let me give you an example of the trade I've recorded leaving the African continent

  • this year alone, which has run about 68.8, tons of African pangolin scales.

  • And that, remember, is just what we've recorded which is probably around 10% of the actual trade.

  • This is an extreme impact.

  • I don't think their populations could sustain this onslaught for the next two to three decades.

  • The pangolin is an ancient mammal, evolutionarily speaking 85 million years.

  • It's the only mammal covered in hard keratinous overlapping scales, they're completely edentate,

  • they can't even open their mouth.

  • They've got a tongue almost as long as their body, they're very closely related evolutionary

  • speaking to the carnivora in particular, cats.

  • Its physiology is quite unique to any other

  • animal but because it's so unique, and that it's covered in these hard overlapping scales

  • made out of keratin, that's its downfall.

  • That's what makes it so sought after.

  • Pangolins, both in Asia,

  • in particular Vietnam, and in Africa have been used as bushmeat and regarded as

  • a delicacy for many thousands of years, but more importantly both in Africa and Asia,

  • pangolins are used culturally as traditional pharmacopoeia or traditional medicine if you

  • want to call it that, and that also dates back many many thousands of years, and this

  • is a great prize and this is a great downfall is the harvest of it scales ground into

  • powder and added as a remedy in both traditional African and traditional Asian medicines.

  • There's no medicinal value to scales.

  • It's like biting your own nails, the same material as rhino horn.

  • So it has no medicinal value whatsoever.

  • We work in the Gulf of Guinea and Ghana and Syria.

  • So our organization is involved intensely in Africa and in Africa's pangolins but more

  • intensely in South Africa in reversing the illegal trade in the Temmick's ground pangolin.

  • We do have legal sting operations where we pose as buyers and we pull pangolins out of the

  • trade and arrest poachers.

  • We work very closely with covert police units, the stock theft units also working as

  • endangered species units, the Department of Environmental Affairs, the environmental management

  • inspectors.

  • The national prosecuting authority all collectively working together to combat this trade.

  • We are very much involved with police and law enforcement so when they are all about

  • to sting for a pangolin in the trade African Pangolin Working Group goes in.

  • Ray Jansen and they confiscate

  • the pangolin, and after all the processes with the police that pangolin comes here

  • for treatment and rehabilitation.

  • Most of them are very compromised they haven't had food for about seven to 10 days or water.

  • Some have been have been closed in a bag or in a drum sitting in their own urine and feces

  • for weeks, they often have pneumonia, they have wounds.

  • They need drips, they need antibiotics and quite intensive care.

  • This little girl is called Titi.

  • She was intercepted near the Zimbabwe border.

  • We don't know where her mom is she's supposed to be still with her mom, she's only one and

  • a half kilos.

  • She's very small, young, probably about two months old.

  • So she came to us and that's a yawn.

  • She came to us and we have to hand raise her now.

  • Give her milk, take her out walking until she's old enough so we can release her back into

  • the wild.

  • The most difficult thing about studying pangolins is, they are so difficult to find.

  • You can't get in a helicopter and fly around and see one like you would rhino and elephants.

  • And they're so secretive they only come out at night, they're very quiet, nobody really

  • knew about him until they were poached at this level because they were just going on

  • with their lives as normal, and now suddenly we have to find ways to study something that

  • hides in a hole during the day and makes no noise at night.

  • It's difficult.

  • Since we've been campaigning and been in the courts and providing testimony and aggravation

  • sentencing since 2017, the latest sentence we got was eight years in jail.

  • The maximum sentence for a pangolin poacher in this country is 10 years in jail, in collaboration,

  • or with or without a final 10 million South African rands.

  • You can't save something that you don't know exist.

  • They're not just a scaly hard thing they're a mammal and have personality, from the first

  • time I've met one, we all say it's like a bewitching, you see them for the first time

  • and you just fall in love.

  • They can't help you even though you haven't seen one, even though you're not aware of

  • what it doesn't mean you shouldn't care about this wonderful mystical and charismatic mammal

  • that's disappearing very rapidly.

  • The best the public can do globally out there all over the world is spread the word, spread the message,

  • spread the love.

  • That's the very best thing you can do.

  • We need to send out the love for this animal over the world, and we need to like we embrace

  • our pop icons, we need to embrace these things just as heavily just as strongly, and with

  • the same amount of emotion.

Prior to 2017 no pangolin poacher served any jail time.

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Why the Strangest Mammal is Also the Most Trafficked

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/03/23
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