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Conservation is more than just a safe place

Pangolins are crazy little mammals, equipped with scales, no vocal cords and no teeth. They have evolved a 25 cm long tongue and a digestive tract that can process their special diet, which consists of ants and termites.

After their release within our pangolin rehabilitation program, they are carefully monitored by the team. During a routine check up, the team noticed that Stevie, a male pangolin in the reserve, had lost a significant amount of  weight and was behaving irregularly. The team decided to take him to Dr. Mike Toft, who examined Stevie and took a couple of blood samples. After which it was discovered he had a wound under his scales that had become infected.

The blood test indicated that Stevie has Babesia Babesiosis, a form of Biliary that is spread by ticks. The team immediately started treatment, but after some time with little change, the team followed the guidance of Karin Lourens form the African Pangolin Working Group and performed a blood transfusion. 

Pangolin Conservation

The team found one of the bigger females, Camomile, to donate some blood for Stevie. Pangolins are very sensitive to anesthesia and thus cannot be held under for long. The blood transfusion process had to be done quickly and efficiently.

Since receiving the blood transfusion, Stevie has been doing better, with a lower tick count and higher energy levels. The team is still keeping a close eye on him thanks to a LoRa tracking tag that is fitted to him. Stevie is not only a great success story within our programs, but it also shows how a little support can go a very long way. Camomille gave a mere 1% of her blood, and Stevie is out wondering the savannah thanks to her.

Pangolin Monitoring Tags Conservation

Stevie has made a full recovery, and none of that would be possible without the dedication and eyes of our program staff and veterinarians.

Written By: Melanie Ghesquiere

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