Authorities in Indonesia confirmed today that they had arrested two suspected wildlife smugglers after finding more than 200 pangolins in a port warehouse in Sumatra. The alleged perpetrators are thought to be part of a larger syndicate.
Sadly, according to the Associated Press, Ministry of Environment and Forestry official Halasan Tulis revealed during a Press Conference in Medan that only 110 of the 225 critically endangered animals were found alive.
Many of the pangolins recovered were believed to have already succumbed to stress and dehydration. As per Tulus, of the deceased, 24 of the most heavily trafficked mammals in the world had already been skinned.
The pangolins, commonly poached for their decorative scales which are also used for medicinal purposes in parts of Asia and Africa, were allegedly being prepared to be smuggled by ship to Malaysia. Their value was estimated to be worth approximately 190,000.00 U.S. dollars.
Pangolin meat is also considered a delicacy in parts of Asia.
As reported by WAN, more than 600 pounds of pangolin scales were discovered recently by Malaysian customs officers at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Tragically the tremendous demand for pangolins, also known as “scaly anteaters,” has resulted in an estimated one million being poached from Asian and African forests over the past decade.