Endangered pangolins saved from traffickers in north central Vietnam

By Thanh Huyen   January 12, 2020 | 01:50 am PT
Endangered pangolins saved from traffickers in north central Vietnam
One of the 16 pangolins rescued in Thanh Hoa Province in north central Vietnam on January 10, 2020. Photo by Vietnam News Agency.
Thanh Hoa Police said Saturday that 16 pangolins being taken in a car to be sold in Hanoi have been seized.

Traffic police found the live pangolins, weighing 71 kilos in total, after they stopped a four-seater car on National Highway 1A in the north central province of Thanh Hoa for violating traffic rules.

The driver, Nguyen Van Phu, 37, and another man in the car failed to provide any legal documents for the animals.

They told the police that they’d been paid to take the scaly anteaters to Hanoi. They also said the pangolins were to be sold to consumers in Hanoi and other northern localities.

Provincial police are working with forest rangers to investigate the case further. Local reports did not mention if the men have been detained or the pangolins transferred to a conservation center.

Trafficking of pangolins is not uncommon in Vietnam, where they are legally protected and classified as endangered.

The defenseless animals are sought after within the country and in neighboring nations for their meat and the alleged medicinal properties of their scales.

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