South Africa’s wildlife is under continuous threat due to the irrational and absurd traditional beliefs regarding the magical healing properties of certain animals. One such animal is the endangered Pangolin which is being hunted down and slaughtered by barbarians and their misguided belief in the supernatural. These ignoramuses are of the belief that the scales of these defenceless creatures keep evil spirits at bay and offer protection against illnesses.
Obviously none of these statements have ever been backed by science and need tobe dismissed for the absolute nonsense they are. Nevertheless between 10,000 and 200,000 of these harmless unobtrusive creatures are killed illegally each year – making the Pangolin the most trafficked animals in the world. There are eight Pangolin species, four African and four Asian. Two are listed as critically endangered. Four others are deemed vulnerable.
Because other endangered animals like the tiger and the rhino are wildlife celebrities, they receive massive global backing and support through various media and wildlife organizations while the Pangolin is basically forgotten. It is time that these animals receive the attention they deserve before future generations read about them in the history books alongside the Kwagga and the Dodo.
The three suspects arrested on Friday, 25th of October for possession of an endangered species, were apprehended by police in Mussina after a tip off from the public. The Police received information about a suspicious vehicle traveling from Alldays to Musina with three occupants searching for a possible buyer.
A snap operation was then conducted and a vehicle matching the description given was spotted by the police parked along the N1 road in the Mussina CBD. The vehicle, with three occupants was searched and a Pangolin was found hidden in the vehicle. The three suspects were then arrested on the spot and appeared in the Mussina Magistrate’s court on Monday. At the time of going to print the outcome of the court hearing was unknown.