While doing volunteer work with the #wildtomorrowfund
, we visited the Manyoni Private Game reserve. While there, our group got to see the amazing Pangolin in her natural habitat and learn about the conservation efforts the teams are doing there. We saw this Pangolin (with tracking device attached) during her afternoon dinner walk. The two researchers we met and spent time with were such a wealth of knowledge about this beautiful creature. They were also our very capable bodyguards while we walked in the wide open bush!
With hardened scales made of keratin to protect their soft bodies, and the ability to roll up into a tight ball when danger is near, the Pangolin is an incredibly prehistoric-looking creature. The Pangolin is a scaled anteater and is the only mammal with scales. Their meat is considered a delicacy and pangolin scales are used in traditional medicine and folk remedies. All eight pangolin species are protected under national and international laws. But there is still growing international illegal trade in pangolins of those scales which are used in old traditional medicines and their meat. Much like the rhino horn, the pangolin scales are highly sought after in the illegal wildlife trade. With staggering statistics completely wiping out the species, Pangolins have been dubbed the worlds most trafficked animal especially in Asia, and increasingly in Africa. It is for this reason that the Zululand Conservation Trust has dedicated a large number of their conservation funds towards the protection, rehabilitation and monitoring of these incredible animals. Organizations like Wild Tomorrow Fund are working tirelessly to help with funding to save and re-wild rescued pangolins.
If these creatures intrigue you and if you can, please support the cause here: https://www.wildtomorrowfund.org/.../pangolin
... .#pangolins #conservation #wildlifephotography #wildtomorrowfund
© Terry Opalka Photography