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Pangolins of Manyoni

Photo credit: Simon Needham –

It has been two and a half years since Manyoni, together with the Zululand Conservation Trust , took on the challenge to re-rewild Temminck’s ground pangolins. All the pangolins that we have rehabilitated back into the wild so far were rescued from the illegal trade as a result of the remarkable work being done by the African Pangolin Working Group, Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital , and SAPS.What a challenging yet rewarding journey it has been, from sleepless nights checking on pangolins and monitoring the whereabouts of the released pangolins to walking for hours on end in the field taking these extraordinary animals out to feed or finding them in the dark to check on their weight and well-being. When the first pangolin arrived the whole team was in awe of these fascinating creatures and none of us had seen a pangolin in real life before. We have been so privileged to experience and observe these creatures close up and admire the way the front legs are lifted while walking with the claws in the air like a miniature dinosaur, the little stumpy legs that can cover quite a distance, being able to hear them sniffing the ground for ants and termites, and lastly seeing them use their immensely long tongue to slurp up ants!

Photo credit: Simon Needham –

We are learning more and more about these animals every day from them and getting to know their unique characters. From the pangolin who settles nicely in our reserve to the “runner” who walks up to 6km a night, they are all different and we have seen it all.We are grateful to be part of this incredibly important project and we would like to thank the African Pangolin Working Group for the opportunity to re-introduce pangolins back into this area where they have been locally extinct for about 60 years.If you would like to get involved and support us, please consider a donation to the The Zululand Conservation Trust . The Zululand Conservation Trust funds the pangolin program at Manyoni solely from donor funding. Rehabilitating pangolins is extremely costly, the tags, telemetry equipment, vehicles, and fuel is a huge cost in addition to the salaries for the pangolin warriors that monitor them tirelessly day and night. Please support us to give these rescued pangolins a second chance to live a free and happy life. Pangolins have been on the planet for over 80 million years and now they are facing extinction due to the illegal trade for pangolin scales. Pangolins are the most trafficked mammal on the globe and therefore we have to do everything we can to save them from extinction and ensure they continue to roam this earth for another 80million years.Lastly, we want to thank all the amazing people who have contributed to the efforts of saving the species.

Photo credit: Julia Rugheimer
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