EXTRACT FROM THE FOLLOWING THIRD PARTY SOURCE: Written by Elize Parker for the Lowvelder
In a joint operation the National Intervention Unit and the Environmental Crime Unit of the Kruger National Park and the Protrack Rhino Task Team, used information received to track down three pangolin poachers on the western borders of the Kruger National Park close to Hoedspruit on 14th June.
The pangolin was rescued and released in a safe undisclosed location. The investigation is ongoing. The two males and a female were on their way to sell the pangolin on the market in one of the local communities. Criminal gangs and syndicates have made the little scaly animal the most trafficked animal for bogus medicines and gourmet meals. Worldwide more pangolins are poached than rhinos.
Despite all international conservation efforts, on 13th June Nigerian Customs Service at the International Airport in Lagos arrested two Chinese nationals for attempting to smuggle elephant tusks and 381kg of pangolin out of the country. On 10th June, 500kg of pangolin scales had been recovered at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
Over a million pangolins are estimated to have been poached in the last decade in order to satisfy demand for their meat and scales. As greater protection is needed for pangolins, all IUCN members will be encouraged to support transferring all eight pangolin species from Appendix II to Appendix I of CITES at the 17th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP17) to CITES, to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa in September 2016, in order to contribute to their conservation.