Sunday, May 27, 2012

The pangolin: a fellow mammal

Customs officials in Bangkok, Thailand with one of 138 pangolins they rescued from illegal trafficking. Pangolins are anteaters & endangered mammals. (Does that mean they’re related to us?) According to wildlife groups, China is the main market for pangolins & other exotic species which are brutally hammered to death for their meat or used in traditional medicine. (They are thought to help mothers breastfeed.) As a result of demand, pangolins in China, Vietnam, Laos, & Cambodia have been wiped out & their population is declining in its last habitats in Java, Sumatra, & the Malaysian peninsula. It is a similar story for many species of turtle, tortoise, frog & snake.  (Photo by Apichart Weerawong/AP)

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