Police Search A Minivan and Find 165 Animals Tied Up In Bags

27/1/2017

It was a standard police stop at the border of Thailand and Laos, but when they opened the trunk of the minivan in question, officers made a startling discovery. Inside was 165 pangolins, balled up in fabric sacks stacked on top of each other.

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Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand

Relatively unknown to the general public, these scaly insectivores are the most highly trafficked mammals in the world and are threatened with extinction. The eight known varieties are on the list of threatened species of the IUCN.

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Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand

Residing mainly in Africa and in East Asia, they tend to roll up into a ball when they feel threatened. In Asia, their meat is popular and is considered a delicacy in Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine, while their scales are prized for their supposed medicinal values and are sold at exorbitant prices (up to 1000 dollars on the black market). Not surprising then that the pangolins have become prime targets for traffickers.

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Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand

Without the border control of the Thai police, the animals were destined for certain death when they arrived in China. Experts estimate that in Asia or Africa, a pangolin is captured every five minutes with the goal of being sold and killed for their meat and scales.

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Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand

Thankfully, the three traffickers in the minivan were arrested and questioned. The pangolins were confiscated by authorities and taken in by an organization for the protection of wild animals in Thailand, Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand(WFFT). The 165 mammals were then transferred to the Laos Wildlife Rescue Center(LWRC), where they are receiving treatment and care. Sadly, however, not all of them have survived.

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Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand

After this massive rescue, the WWTF declared:

Since this species is extremely complex to keep in captivity, we hope to rehabilitate the majority of them and give them a second chance to live out in the wild.
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Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand

For their security, the volunteers have kept the location of their future release a secret to ensure the pangolins their freedom.

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Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation ThailandTo support the organization WFFT in their fight to preserve this threatened species with extinction, you can make a donation herehere.

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Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand

Watch the video of the rescue mission below:

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