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Known for their secretive, solitary behaviour, photographer Karen Swanpoel had a chance encounter with this little man last week in Limpopo, South Africa. 
[quote]We were walking through the bush when we came across him, it’s the first time I’ve ever seen a pangolin, let alone a wild one within its natural habitat![/quote]
pangolinDue to the severe droughts in northern Limpopo there’s been a lack of food for animals in the area, this might have encouraged such unfamiliar behaviour from the  usually elusive and nocturnal pangolin.

Pangolins do not have teeth and are unable to chew. Instead, they use their long sticky tongues to catch insects. It’s believed that a single pangolin consumes more than 70 million insects per year – mainly ants and termites. When the pangolin’s tongue is fully extended, it can be up to 16 inches longer than its entire body length!

The biggest threat to all pangolin species today is commercial hunting for human consumption. In Africa species are hunted for bushmeat and in China and Vietnam pangolins are considered a delicacy, and their scales are used in traditional medicine. There is mounting concern that African pangolins will be targeted to supply this burgeoning Far East demand.

Find out more at Project Pangolin

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