• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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PCGN, OHDI successful rescue operation freed two pangolins from trader

In a joint effort by the Pangolin Conservation Guild of Nigeria (PCGN) and the One Health and Development Initiative (OHDI) two pangolins have been successfully rescued from a trader.

The rescued pangolins were a male and a female pangolin of the Phataginus tricuspis species, also known as the white-bellied pangolin. The rescue operation commenced with intelligence gathering on location in Ibadan where pangolins were held captive for sale.

After treatment, the rescued pangolins underwent a short period of rehabilitation to ensure that they were physically fit and returned to the wild by both the team supported by the Chicago Zoological Society – Chicago Board of Trade Endangered Species Fund.

Olajumoke Morenikeji, a professor at the University of Ibadan and the chair, Pangolin Conservation Guild Nigeria involved in the operation, expressed optimism about the outcome.

“Today’s successful rescue and release operation exemplifies the power of collaboration in conserving endangered species,” she said.

“The pangolin rescue and release operation serves as a reminder of the urgent need for collaborative efforts to combat illegal wildlife trade and conserve endangered species,” she added.

She noted that while this marks a triumph for pangolins, sustained action, and increased awareness remain paramount in ensuring their long-term survival.

The pangolin, which curls up into a ball when frightened, is the world’s most trafficked wild mammal and Nigeria has been identified as the hub of African pangolin smuggling to Asian markets.

The mammal is in high demand because it is believed to treat many ailments and diseases while serving as a delicacy in Africa and Asia.

The insatiable appetite for pangolin meat and parts has led scientists to believe that pangolin is being poached every five minutes, an entirely unsustainable speed, resulting in pangolin species being listed as vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered on the IUCN Red List.

Globally, there are eight species of pangolins; four in Asia, and another four in Africa. The giant pangolin – smutsia gigantea; white bellied pangolin – phataginus tricuspis, and long-tailed pangolin – phataginus tetradactyla species are found in Nigeria.

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