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Why Pangolins?

December 22, 2015

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Photo Credit: ©Lucie Escouflaire

You may never have heard of them, but pangolins are extremely popular among poachers. In fact, they're often described as the most heavily trafficked mammal in the world.

From photos like this below, shared recently by WCS China, it's clear that the problem persists.

All told there are eight species of pangolin, four found in Asia and four in Africa. All are hunted.

Why are they so popular among traffickers?

In some cultures, they are considered a delicacy on the dinner table.

In addition, like with rhino horn, some people inaccurately believe a pangolin's scales provide health benefits (they don't). These beliefs have led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of animals in recent years alone, and there is no sign of the trade slowing down.

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