Acclimatizing to a new environment
With temperatures reaching up to 36◦ the climate in the South is a little different to what the pangolin has been used to while undergoing rehabilitation in the North. This is means certain steps must be taken to help her acclimatize.
Until the rainy season starts at the beginning of May adaptations to the enclosure have been made to keep it as cool as possible. This involved collecting foliage to put on the top of the enclosure and adding cover on the sides for shade.
A pangolin’s diet consists of termites and ants; P33 is provided with live ants, freshly collected every day. Weaver ant’s nests are collected from the local village and placed in the enclosure. This is often a fairly painful and itchy process for the staff; after feeding then begins the process of removing all the ants that have managed to crawl into your clothes and hair!
We monitor her throughout the night to see how much and when she eats and once a week we weigh her. On Friday she was weighed for the first time since arriving and we are please to say that she has maintained her weight, an excellent sign. She has also been sticking to a regular eating pattern, feeding between 8pm and 10pm at night.
So far, we have been leaving her alone during her active periods so as not to disturb her while she acclimatizes This week we intend to observe her from 7.30pm onward so we are able to watch her feed and get an idea for how long her active periods are.
Getting an idea of her activity patterns will help us develop a monitoring schedule to track her when released, although the exciting part is we have no real idea of how she will behave once released!