Kampala, Feb. 17 — Pangolins are intelligent creatures with a right to the wild. Our ecosystems’ balance is crucially maintained by pangolins. Before it’s too late, we must act to safeguard them, declared World Animal Protection at a hybrid event held today, only one day before the annual World Pangolin Day, which is observed on the third Saturday in February.
“Pangolins are confronting an existential crisis and a myriad of welfare issues,” according to Edith Kabesiime, Wildlife Campaign Manager at World Animal Protection. They are taken forcibly from their natural habitats, frequently smoked from their hiding places, and then repeatedly heated with blunt objects before being thrown into boiling water while still conscious in order to extract their scales for use in Traditional Asian Medicine, which has not been scientifically proven.
These sentient individuals are arbitrarily captured, and the agony they endure is appalling.
To make matters worse, when adults are kidnapped, their young scarcely have a chance of surviving on their own, resulting in suffering and a decrease in the population.
This Saturday’s International Pangolin Day serves as a reminder of the urgency of our need to take action. We must address the unrelenting demand for pangolin scales and meat if we are to spare them misery, suffering, and the threat of extinction. The pangolin is not a drug. We demand that laws be ruthlessly enforced in order to defend and protect them.
Rebeca Sandoval, co-founder and director of Biodiversity Alliance, said in a keynote speech titled “How to fall in love with a pangolin,” “As this is Valentine’s Week, let us extend love and compassion to non-human sentient beings such as pangolins because they have a right to live in this planet just like us, and it is our responsibility to protect them.”
One of the most trafficked mammals in the world, pangolins, also known as scaly anteaters, are greatly sought after for their meat and scales, which are utilized in traditional remedies. Although being protected, pangolins are nonetheless illegally hunted and traded.
The fate of pangolins serves as a sobering reminder of the terrible effects that human activity may have on the biodiversity of our world. This disturbing trend needs to be stopped.
All 8 species of pangolins were upgraded to the highest degree of protection under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Appendix I in 2016. Their excessive exploitation in illegal trade was a crucial factor in this action.
Pangolins come in eight species, four of which are located in Asia and four in Africa. Both regions have historically consumed them. Unfortunately, the supply of African pangolins has only recently been able to satisfy the demand in Asia.
Female pangolins only has one or two young per year due to their modest reproductive rate, which makes it challenging for populations to rebound from overhunting and other challenges.
The survival of pangolins and their habitats depends on animal welfare initiatives, such as habitat protection, anti-poaching measures, and education and awareness campaigns.