The rescued pangolin mum appeared average sized, when he saw the bulge in the mealie meal sack. But as Moses reached in… there, wrapped up with her was a baby pangolin also. Tears welled up in his eyes as he gently removed them both. Mum remained tightly curled up in a ball, desperately trying to save her tiny pangolin. After dozens of pangolin rescues Moses had never seen a baby pangolin.
A Few Facts About Pangolin
The endangered pangolin is a small scaly ant eaters whose tongue starts in it’s stomach. Sadly, in much of Africa, including Uganda where Moses lives, animal and pangolin poaching are common. Wildlife are poached and either eaten or sold into the illegal wildlife trade.
Pangolin are cute harmless little animals that really are quite useful to have around. They love ants and some pesky insects. Pangolin scales cover most of their body for protection are also their undoing. In parts of Asia the scales are consumed as a delicacy. This consumption has led to the onerous status of pangolin as the most endangered mammal on the planet.
So how are Pangolin saved by digging fish ponds?
In Moses’ area, like in many others across Africa, the lack of adequate income drives people to animal poaching (the illegal killing of wild animals.) Animal poachers frequently use dogs to flush out and bring down wildlife. Sadly, pangolin foraging in gardens fall prey to such hunting excursions.
Back in 2017 we visited Moses. He introduced us to a group of reformed poachers. Men who had turned in their spears for shovels. Moses was teaching them fish farming, bee keeping and vegetable gardening. However, this took funds. Nikela got involved.
Since then families have been fed and wildlife saved from poachers’ snares and spears. Earlier this year Moses was ready to expand his reach to villages bordering the Queen Elisabeth National Park close to half a day’s journey from him. He planned a workshop to educate and invite. By the end of the day 35 men pledged to lay down their spears in exchange for shovels.
This past week the digging began for another fish farm. The fish ponds like those from before will be stocked with 2500 fish flies (or fingerlings as they are also called). Once the fish mature they can be harvested and not only used to feed the reformed poachers’ families but to be sold. Once the fish ponds are completed Moses will turn his attention to teaching basic gardening skills.
There’s really only one way to stop the killing of pangolin and other wildlife, and that’s providing an alternative to wildlife poaching. And Moses, being one of the villagers and small time farmers, is the man for the job in his area to get it done. Now, of course he relies heavily on funds from people like you and I to accomplish this crucial mission.
Let’s all help Moses save pangolin, wildlife and poacher families!
The Nikela Wildlife Club is collecting $5000 to help Moses keep the new momentum rolling. How about donating a shovel, providing funds for a beehive, or even sponsoring a newly reformed poacher? You can even stay involved with a monthly contribution for ongoing support.
100% of your donation today goes to the front lines, saving pangolin and other wildlife from being killed.
Helping is easy. Get involved today.