When Katiti the pangolin ventures out on one of his foraging excursions, he’s never alone. The team from wildlife rehab centre REST follows the little creature wherever he goes … which sometimes means a free ride home after a hard day’s work foraging for ants!
Katiti is kept safe under close watch, as the population status of the entire species of pangolin ranges from vulnerable to endangered to extremely critical on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Zoological Society of London is on a mission to save the pangolin from poachers, illegal traders and traffickers with the Pangolin Conservation Initiative and other international programs.
Pangolins are declining throughout their range due to increasing demand for their meat, which is seen as a delicacy, and scales and other body parts, which are used in some traditional medicines. This is driving unsustainable levels of poaching and illegal trade. As a result, pangolins are now thought to be the world’s most illegally trafficked wild mammal with more than one million estimated to have been traded in the past decade. This is despite a commercial trade ban for wild-caught pangolins in Asia. As the populations of the four Asian pangolin species plummet, traders are now looking to Africa to meet demand.