Endangered pangolin found on HCMC roof

By Dinh Van   March 1, 2023 | 12:29 am PT
Endangered pangolin found on HCMC roof
A critically endangered pangolin found on a parking house roof is handed over to the Ho Chi Minh City Forest Protection Department, February 28, 2023. Photo by the department
Ho Chi Minh City Forest Protection Department has received a pangolin found on the roof of a parking house in the city's downtown.

The pangolin was detected Tuesday by Bui Kim Hoang, 61, who works at the parking lot in District 1's Da Kao Ward.

Hoang said he saw the pangolin swinging on a tree branch before the branch was broken and the pangolin fell onto the roof.

"I'm aware that it could be an endangered species so I captured it and called the rangers."

The Ho Chi Minh City Forest Protection Department then confirmed the pangolin as a male Manis javanica, a pangolin species classified as "critically endangered" by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and Vietnam's Red Book.

The pangolin weighs 7 kilograms and stretches one meter long.

As the pangolin is not healthy enough to live on his own now, the department has taken him to a rescue center for further care before releasing him back to the wild.

Rangers said it is possible that the pangolin had escaped from a local house where he had been kept illegally.

Trafficking of pangolins is quite common in Vietnam though they are legally protected. Transporting and trading of wildlife is subject to fines of VND7- 400 million (US$296-16,928).

The shy, tiny pangolin, which resembles a scaly anteater, is the world's most heavily trafficked mammal despite bans.

It is hunted in Vietnam and its neighborhood for meat and the alleged medicinal properties of its scales.

Over 96,000 kilograms (210,000 pounds) of scales were seized in Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam between 2017 and 2019 alone, TRAFFIC, the global wildlife trade monitoring program, said.

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