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Will Last-Ditch Efforts by Animal's Rights Groups Save the Pangolin?

Updated on April 17, 2016

You can't take the cute out of PerseCUTEd.

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adult male PangolinRescued by customs agents but still bagged like beach ballssacks of Pangolin scales captured from a "businessman"Can you think of a more disgusting sight than this baby Pangolin being served whole in an Asian restaurant?  My gorge is rising as I type this.
adult male Pangolin
adult male Pangolin
Rescued by customs agents but still bagged like beach balls
Rescued by customs agents but still bagged like beach balls
sacks of Pangolin scales captured from a "businessman"
sacks of Pangolin scales captured from a "businessman"
Can you think of a more disgusting sight than this baby Pangolin being served whole in an Asian restaurant?  My gorge is rising as I type this.
Can you think of a more disgusting sight than this baby Pangolin being served whole in an Asian restaurant? My gorge is rising as I type this.

Can we still hope for this wonderful creature??

William's remarks on TV today regarding conservation of the world's animals under threat from man's expansion and stupidity were long overdue and welcome. He made the speech from China where his party is on a diplomatic flag-waving tour and had to be couched in the appropriate diplomatic language. It wasn't “The Chinese” at fault, but “Us,” although I have not heard of anyone in Europe or the US eating Pangolin for breakfast.

So let's put the blame where it roundly belongs, a large percentage of Chinese and other Orientals .

It's just like the cocaine business: the market fires the producers and supply chain and the users in the USA, etc., are as much to blame for the proliferation of this awful drug as those who sell it from all points south.

As with coke, there would be no suppliers of animal parts from Africa, etc., if there were not the Chinese millions waiting to buy them.

It may be too late for many of these marvellous creatures evolution graced mankind with. The black rhino is for all intents and purposes extinct, so are the other rhino species; gorillas and elephants are severely threatened, the list is long and saddening.

I was especially upset by the story of the Pangolin, the harmless and cute little anteater who lives in Africa and several other Asian countries.

Both its strength (where natural predators are concerned) and its weakness (where mankind is concerned) is the creatures pacifistic defence of rolling into a tight ball when threatened. The poachers just pick the Pangolin up like a beach-ball and pop it into a convenient mesh bag where it joins a box full of its fellows ready for export.

And imprisoned like this the poor benighted creature endures days of agonizing physical and mental duress during its shipment to China.

When I see this type of, ha, “inhuman” mindless cruelty and torture, it reminds me of a God in a Heaven who awaits in judgement of those who sin like this on Earth. If only I could really believe it; stoking the ovens of Hell for eternity is a barely adequate punishment, but would be some kind of closure.

Unfortunately, no one will pay for this abominable market and it will probably not end until the exploited species do, despite all the voices raised by animal rights advocates and even governments around the world, leave us forever.

It is taking quite an effort to rid us of the Pangolin, which is now the most trafficked creature on Earth! Chinese (and others) eat pangolin meat, grind it's scales up for homeopathic medicine (all declared useless by the world scientific community), and make tourist claptrap from these same scales. (a British king once received with delight in less enlightened days a full suit of armour made from pangolin scales, and garments are still made today). In fact, the pangolin has been persecuted by locals for years; it is the creature's popularity in modern China that is spelling its imminent demise.

The only creature on the planet completely covered in scales, Pangolins are also known as Trenggilings and Scaly Anteaters. There are several species, most are threatened. They can grow to about 40 inches in length, depending on species and sex (males are twice the size of the females). Their scales are an exceptionally tough defence made from Keratin, same as our fingernails, but much thicker and also sharp at the edges. Pangolin's armour can keep predators like Asiatic lions from eating them.

Their bear-like claws are so long the pangolin can't walk on them and folds them underneath its paws as it walks. The anteaters also have skunk-like glands near the anus which release a foul smelling liquid, as well as the ability to use their scaly tail as a club. Their diet does not require teeth and the pangolin has none, but swallows small pieces of gravel along with its insect diet in order to help with digestion.

These good diggers and swimmers are mainly nocturnal and require about 7 ounces of ants, etc., each 24 hours. They have extraordinary tongues which not only can be extended about 10 inches from the mouth, they also carry on inside into the stomach making this one of the longest tongues in the animal kingdom.

Unfortunately, pangolins don't do well in captivity, are nervous and shy and their diet is difficult to sustain by keepers. There are several in zoos around the world however, which may increase now the world spotlight is on their fate and they are better understood.

Something needs to be done NOW as more than 100,000 of the benighted creatures are being captured every year by poachers. This total makes the pangolin smuggling 40% of the illegal poaching market. It is so blatant in China with the meat being advertised in restaurants as well as the powder by quacks. Vietnam is also responsible for a large part of the illegal trade.

Perhaps we could learn from the pangolin! I mean, the males just urinate on a nearby bush and wait for the females to turn up! I like that gig – sure beats Plenty of Fish!


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    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 2 months ago from North Texas

      Plenty of Fish? Now Bobby, what would you do if a gaggle of females all showed up on your doorstep at the same time begging for your attention?

      I agree, the whole creature floating in broth is disgusting. I always thought serving fish whole with that eye staring up at the ceiling was a little gross too. The idea of dropping a live lobster into boiling water literally makes me cry for the poor creature and I don't even like lobsters. I think they're creepy, but they feel pain and being suddenly engulfed in boiling water must be horrendous.

      I really think people would be healthier if they stopped eating all meat and stuck to grains, vegetables, and fruits. It's also much less expensive to eat the grains and vegetables without first running them through a cow or a hog. The stress on the planet of raising animals for human food is huge. The pollution that is created and the tons of water that are required is unbelievable.

      Hope you are well. Take care . . . xox

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 4 months ago

      No civilization in history has ever survived, why should this one? They all implode from within.

    • profile image

      diogenes 4 months ago

      Thanks, friends. Apart from you devoted animal lovers, the lack of interest in this article just shows how much the general public cares about the fate of the fellow voyagers on our planet.

      How much longer can mankind feasibly last? If there is a creator watching, which seems nothing but an opium infused dream, not much longer. If, as I suspect, we are all alone in this corner of the galaxy at least, even less time as I see slimy hands creeping even nearer to the nuclear buttons.

      As the air is sucked from Earth and the sun spins crazily in the sky, perhaps the pangolin and all the rest will finally find surcease from idiot man.

    • Scribenet profile image

      Scribenet 4 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have just recently learned about this animal and I find it amazing and beautiful. Humans need to realize their consumption is not the most important thing in the world and forgo satisfying every stupid urge like causing this species to disappear forever.

      Thanks for this Hub.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Bob.....I must echo Old Poolman. Knew nothing about this endangered creature. I thank you for such an interesting (but maddening) education. I am with you and all those doing whatever possible to try to save the Pangolin. What man is capable of mistreating, destroying & simply disregarding is unthinkable to those of us who treasure all living things.

      Once again, I thank you for this and will share !! Up+++ pinned & tweeted

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 2 years ago

      Bob, I make it a habit to learn at least one new thing everyday, and you took care of that for me. I had never even heard of Pangolin's before and now I know quite a bit about them. Will the Chinese population decrease when the last Pangolin is gone? I imagine they will find something new to fill this void.

      By the way, I am now on the 5th book by James Lee Burke. I am not getting them in the order he wrote them but that seems to make no difference.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Circulate this hub! People need to be aware of the extinction of so many animals we don't even know about, like the Pangolin. Why on earth is it necessary in this day and age, to use an animal to satisfy human wants and needs? There are scientific answers as well as legally produced drugs that will do the same damn thing!

      Well done Bob!

      Voted up, useful, interesting and shared.