With hardened scales made of keratin to protect their soft bodies, and the ability to roll up into a tight ball when danger is near, the pangolin is an incredibly prehistoric-looking creature. Much like the rhino horn, the pangolin scales are highly sought after in the illegal wildlife trade. With staggering statistics completely wiping out the species, Pangolins have been dubbed the world’s most trafficked animal.
Manyoni Private Game Reserve is working closely with the Zululand Conservation Trust, the African Pangolin Working Group and the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital to rehome Temminck’s ground pangolins that have been retrieved from the illegal wildlife trade. Whilst in the hands of poachers these pangolins deteriorate due to stress, dehydration and malnutrition. But there are people fighting against this trade and each animal confiscated is given a second chance at life. The survivors arrive at the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital where they receive intensive care and are nursed back to health by a dedicated team. As soon as the pangolin has a clean bill of health and is fit for release they come to Manyoni. The “soft-release program” for Temminck’s Pangolins is intensive and requires around-the-clock monitoring to ensure they acclimatise, find suitable food and gain weight. Manyoni has been involved in the hands-on monitoring and soft release of a number of pangolins confiscated from the illegal trade. The program is costly and we have partnered with the Zululand Conservation Trust who raises the funds needed for the equipment, monitoring tags and monitors working with these animals. The Temminck’s Pangolin has not roamed in Zululand for nearly 70 years and we are proud to be part of this ground-breaking conservation program. If you would like to find out more and support the program, visit the Zululand Conservation Trust website.