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Endangered pangolins rescued as police bust smugglers in northern Vietnam

By Pham Huong   June 20, 2016 | 11:51 pm PT
Endangered pangolins rescued as police bust smugglers in northern Vietnam
Staff of the Center for Research and Conservation of wild animals takes care of the pandolins. Photo by VnExpress
Police in Vietnam's northern province of Ninh Binh yesterday successfully foiled an attempt to smuggle a group of rare pangolins from Hue to the north where they were to be sold.

Authorities arrested three perpetrators during the search, and resucued 22 Sunda pangolins. The pangolins will be handed to the Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program (CPCP). They are currently being looked after by staff at the Center for Research and Conservation of Wild Animals.

According to the center, most of the pangolins are in a weak state due to being transported over a long period in tight bags without food or water. Some of them were force-fed corn meal and stone powder and are still unable to eat despite receiving care.

“The pangolins are being cared for at the quarantine zone and we have fed them ants, but only a third of them can eat at the moment. Half of them released yellow stools which is not normal, maybe because they were fed corn meal and stone powder to gain weight,” said a representative of the CPCP, who also added that the center is working on research into treatment for the pangolins.

The Sunda pangolin is a rare species considered critically endangered in Vietnam’s Red Book. Pangolins as a genus are among the most heavily poached and exploited protected animals in the world. Like other pangolin species, the Sunda pangolin is hunted for its meat and used in clothing and traditional medicine.

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