The scaly anteater, the pangolin, is the most highly endangered mammal on the planet.
What on earth do people want from this nocturnal, harmless, seldom seen creature?
For one, locals say it’s mighty tasty eating. So it is caught and killed for eating… bush meat.
However, what’s really driving this critter to the brink of extinction is an ever increasing appetite for its scales in Asia.
Tons of bags of scales have been intercepted at entry ports. Dozens of whole frozen pangolin bodies are found hidden among other foods. The demand for scales are so high that the illegal ways of smuggling them are endless.
Moses is on a pangolin rescue mission.
He intercedes for one, sometimes two pangolin at a time in his area of Uganda and the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo.) Over the past few years he singlehandedly has built a network of informants. Along with the guidance and expertise of the folks at the Tikki Hywood Trust, the support of the Ugandan Wildlife Authorities, and the funding from ordinary folk like you these pangolin rescue missions happen.
Sadly, they are not always successful. At times Moses gets the information too late. At times he is unable to travel to the given location fast enough. At times he loses precious time at a border crossing. At times the pangolin is already long gone when he finally arrives. However, 99% of the time the stars line up, he arrives on time and almost magically intercedes.
Somehow he finds the right convincing words to say to the poacher. Somehow he gets reason and understanding to win out over money. This is not easy one in this part of the world where jobs are scarce and feeding a family is tough.
On a most recent pangolin rescue mission Moses had a very emotional surprise… There in the bag with the adult pangolin peeking out from under mommy was a baby. Moses was delighted. Not only because he could rescue the baby, but because he’d never seen one before. Happily this pangolin rescue mission ended well. After much discussion and convincing the bag with mum and baby was given up. After Moses weighed and measured and reported the health status to Rebecca (Tikki Hywood Trust) he received the go ahead for release under the supervision of the Ugandan Wildlife Authority.
To date Moses has rescued seventeen pangolin and with your help he can continue to have the means to intervene. The costs for a pangolin rescue mission aren’t huge. However, for someone like Moses travel costs, reward money for informants have to be covered.