This odd little creature, the highly endangered pangolin, rolls itself up in a ball for protection. Sadly, although its scaly exterior has saved it from many a lion, they are also the pangolin‘s very undoing. Thousands of these scaly anteaters are caught in Africa and illegally shipped to Asia where its scales are considered a delicacy. Fortunately, this is a story of a pangolin rescued from the wildlife trafficking horror by a dedicated man named Moses.
For the past few years Moses has been saving wildlife in his area of Uganda outside of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. He educates his fellow villagers as well as those in the surrounding areas. He goes as far north as Queen Elisabeth National Park even crossing the border into the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC.)
Besides educating others everywhere he goes, Moses also assists former poachers earn alternative livelihoods. He provides them the means to become bee keepers and Tilapia fish and vegetable farmers. (Nikela supports him in this effort.)
Moses isn’t done yet. He also builds bee hives to give to families living around the parks. Bees keep raiding elephants out of the mealie (corn) fields. This keeps the farmers from killing or injuring the elephants.
Most recently Moses got involved in rescuing pangolin from poachers with the help of Lisa and Rebecca at the Tikki Hywood Trust. Lisa is a world renowned pangolin expert. Rebecca who is stationed in Uganda works closely with Moses.
With Moses’ network of educated villagers he is notified when a pangolin is being offered up for sale. Pangolin are stolen from the wild and sold in to the wildlife trafficking market. The illegal wildlife trade consists of a network of individuals buying and selling wildlife and wildlife body parts. Most poached African animals, including the highly endangered pangolin, get smuggled to Asia where they are sold for a lot of money. The wildlife trafficking industry is worth 19 billion dollars!
Another pangolin rescued
On this particular occasion the situation ended in a pangolin rescued. Here’s what happened according to Moses…
One of the ex poachers got the information from some local farmers that there was a pangolin in a village near the Uganda/Congo border. They told the farmers to keep an eye on it and then informed me.
We made arrangements. It was about 17 km from my place, We drove there. We found the pangolin near the gardens. We were able to safely catch him.
The good thing is the farmers listened to the advise. Probably because they expected a tip (small reward) if we found the animal still safe.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority was notified. They will do the release into a safe area in the park tomorrow.
The very next day Moses reported that a representative from UWA came to get the pangolin rescued.
The pangolin we rescued yesterday is picked up by a staff of the UWA and is heading back to the wild to a safe place this morning.
Another successful intervention. Another pangolin rescued thanks to all who helped.
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