Environment

81 Endangered Pangolins Busted In Illegal Trade

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pangolin

Image: Shutterstock/Kobie Douglas

81 Endangered Pangolins Busted In Illegal Trade

Did you know endangered pangolins are one of the most illegally-traded animals in the world? We’re guessing you didn’t even know they existed. Just recently, a man in Laos was arrested for trying to smuggle 81 Sunda pangolins across the Thailand and Laos border. The rare animals were packaged in small bags that were then stuffed in crates.

Thankfully, Lao Wildlife Rescue and Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand joined together to catch the smuggler. They rescued the pangolins, and forty-eight of the pangolins were nursed back to health and able to return to the wild. Unfortunately, seventeen of the pangolins died after being succumbed to such harsh conditions.

Ground Pangolin

Image: Shutterstock/Andre Coetzer

This shipment reportedly began in Sumatra, Indonesia and was en route to China. There the endangered animals would be fed to the wealthy and their scales would be used for traditional Chinese medicine.

Pangolins are worth about $19 billion annually when traded. Their scales used to be worth about $13 in the 1990s, but they have escalated to $500 for just two pounds of scales.

All eight species of pangolins are on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. All of them reside in either Africa or Southeast Asia.

Kate Wilke is the content manager at 301brands, and she's the editor of DailyBeautyHack.com, and the lifestyle editor at OhMyVeggies.com. When she's not paddle boarding or skiing, she's informing someone about global warming (or cats) over a local double IPA. Follow her on Instagram — @kateewilke