Dec 7, 2007

Pangolins, Coconuts, and Pickup Trucks

Stories like this make me mad. Very mad. But thankfully, this particular one has a happy ending. Thai Customs officers were able to rescue more than 100 pangolins and arrested three men attempting to smuggle the endangered animals to China via pickup trucks, where they were destined for the cooking pot.

The Indonesian pangolins (aka the armored anteater) would have brought in almost $30,000 USD:

..All trade in Asian pangolins has been illegal since 2000. Their meat is regarded as a delicacy in China and their scales are believed to cure a wide range of ailments per Chinese traditional medicine...The pangolins, which were all alive despite being hidden under layers of coconuts, would be handed over to the Royal Forest Department to be nursed back to health before being released into an appropriate habitat in Thailand...
Delicacy? Traditional medicine? I cannot properly express my contempt for this kind of trafficking, which is too bad, because I don't think that pangolins can either.

Thanks for the article, Ida.

13 comments:

Monster said...

Doesn't it seem like pretty much everything is considered both a delicacy and a traditional medicine in China?

TeratoMarty said...

Oh, poor pangolins! I know that ugly is in the eye of the beholder, but I've always considered them rather sweet-looking.

The Daemians said...

I agree with marty, pangolins are adorable little things. :( I'm glad these ones were rescued.

amandacheryl said...

The entire purpose of my comment was to say that I thought these guys were actually kinda cute...cut someone already beat me to it : )

Danielle Lea said...

I think it's cute too...not everything that's scaly is ugly!

I think the real ugliness lies within the people who hunted these poor creatures.

jenjen said...

I love those critters! I remember the first time I saw pictures of them, I just said "whoa!" and smiled and felt thankful to live on a world with such bizarre wonderfulness. I love that feeling and I feel bad for future generations that might have fewer opportunities to experience it.

Jack Ruttan said...

Pangolins rock my world.

Adam_Y said...

I'd never heard of a Pangolin before... they do look tasty though...

Arachnophile said...

Ah, the pagolin, one of those creatures that just seems like it belongs to another planet.

What's it going to take to break these nasty traditions that call for exotic and endangered animals as ingredients? Seriously!

Kritter said...

When my son was six, he decided pangolins were his favorite animal. He told his kindergarten teacher, who kept saying "You mean penguins?" She'd never heard of pangolins, I guess. So he explained to her what a pangolin is. I wonder if she thought he was making it up. They do look pretty fantastical.

angrycupcake said...

i love those guys! (the pangolins, not the hunters) they look like they crawled out of a fantasy/sci-fi book.

Anonymous said...

jeez louise! is that a fish or a fowl?!? he's sort of cute, but...seriosly, fish or fowl? it looks like it should be furry! strange but cute, that's the consensus.

Hino Trucks said...

Haha what a funny looking creature, looks like something out of a pixar movie.