Sunda pangolin are critically endangered, most confiscations are of mammoth numbers of frozen carcasses or scales. When a live one is rescued it is a huge deal. Within the past week, thanks to Education for Nature Vietnam’s (ENV) hotline, there have been two reports of live Sunda pangolins. Both of which have been rescued by SVW and taken to the rehabilitation centre in Cuc Phuong.
One was from a restaurant and the other had been kept in a jewellery shop.
As slow breeding, solitary animals their rehabilitation and release needs to be carefully considered and managed. Populations in Vietnam are so low that reinforcement of wild populations is the best hope in creating pangolin hotspots and reviving the population. The hope is that after rehabilitation these animals will form part of the release program at a site where we know pangolins already are. This way we can release them in consideration of sex ratios and to maximise genetic flow within populations.
The confiscations happened almost immediately after the reports were made to ENV and it is brilliant to see the local authorities acting promptly on the tip off. Animals will spend a minimum of four weeks in quarrantine to observe for signs of stressed behaviours and nutrional stress.
The hope is that with ENV’s pangolin focussed public service announcement early next year there will be more stories like this.