Thai custom officials saved the lives of at least 110 pangolins when they stopped a poacher from shipping the animals out of the country for illegal sale. According to the officials the pangolins were worth $35,000.
Pangolins are related to the anteaters and they are being hunted down in large numbers because of their high demand in China and other Aisan countries. It is believed that the meat and scales of the Pangolin can cure all kinds of ailments including skin problems and sexual impotency.
The African Wildlife Foundation’s website also notes that their scales are even thought to have the power to woo a man if buried under his door.
It was not an easy task for the custom officials to nab the poachers. They recovered the animals after a high-speed chase with a pickup truck south of Bangkok in Prachuap Khiri Khan province.
The officials believe that the current smuggling is part of a large exotic animal trafficking operation with such incidents happening at regular intervals. Only five days ago 171 pangolins were rescued by the officials with 155 more found an hour later.
According to the WWF the pangolin’s natural habitat is Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar but in the last few years due to illegal poaching their population has dropped to 50 percent.
The pangolins usually come out at night to hunt ants and termites. During day time they remain in their burrows. They walk for miles but live in a particular burrow for months at a stretch.
They can grow to be about 25 inches long and weigh about 22 pounds.
Hopefully the active officials will be able to bust the entire gang before they make more such attempts to smuggle the harmless creatures.