Here I am back on My Wild Path. I hope you are all fine and safe; this emergency period is inevitably changing all our daily routine and habits. Stay safe at home and we will soon come back to travel, hike, and everything we like. This time I want to tell you about the pangolin.
Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release has just launched its new project “Pangolin Emergency Appeal”. It’s time for all of us to show some support! This is an emergency campaign for pangolins and wildlife in need during Covid-19 outbreak. Yes, the virus is not affecting only humans, but also animals, in a different way. First of all, I would like to give you some information on this not well known animal. Let’s meet the pangolin!
I’m sure that only a few of you knew this animal before the virus emergency. Pangolins are the only mammals with large protective keratin scales covering their skin. They are nocturnal, and their diet consists of mainly ants and termites; they capture them using their long tongues. Gradually, the pangolin became famous as “The most trafficked mammal on Earth”.
A horrendous statistic states that “1 pangolin is poached from the wild every 5 minutes”. Also, at least 120.000 pangolins are killed each year. Their scales are commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine and people consider their meat a delicacy. This is causing a huge decrease of this persecuted and inoffensive animal’s population.
This year, awareness of pangolin trafficking is on the rise due to its potential role as an intermediate host in the transmission of Covid-19 to humans. Now more than ever is the chance to expose the harsh truths and consequences of pet trading and poaching. Even with travel restrictions imposed by the outbreak of the Corona Virus, poaching is not slowing down. In fact, thousands of pangolins are still being trafficked at the time of this campaign.
Wild & Free’s first support to pangolin conservation started in 2017 after returning from a trip to Uganda and hearing of the staggering death rate of these animals in the country after their rescue from the illegal trade. This was due to the lack of rehabilitation knowledge and protocols at the time. Luckily the situation has now improved. Geraldine raised funds and visited Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (SVW) rehabilitation centre in March 2018, the leading conservation organisation in Asia.
Pangolins are almost extinct in Asia, and Africa is the only other continent where they can be found. This means that sadly, the poaching to meet demand in Asia is relentless. Determined to support a centre that successfully rescues, rehabilitates and safely releases pangolins based in Africa, Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release identified Libassa Wildlife Sanctuary (LiWiSa) as its next project. LiWiSa is the only rehabilitation centre in Liberia and neighbouring countries, making their work absolutely critical for wildlife conservation. And not only for pangolins but primates and all other wildlife.
Since their opening on May 6, 2017, LiWiSa rescued 389 animals, including 56 pangolins and released 190. The centre has also constructed facilities to provide long-term care for those who unfortunately cannot return to the wild. They currently care for 4 baby pangolins called Pangopups, 56 monkeys and 40 other animals. It costs £960 per month to feed the animals at the centre. And it costs £115 per month to care for those 4 pangopups.
Usually only the small entrance fee ($5) to visit the centre covers this vital funding for food. Unfortunately, this has suddenly come to a halt due to the countries lockdown. This is an emergency fundraising and Wild & Free asks you to help securing £2900; this amount corresponds to 3 months of food for these animals. If you can make a small donation, you are sure that 100% of your money will go to this centre. As for any project with Wild & Free, LiWiSa will be supported, not just in these difficult times, but on an ongoing basis.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Please consider making a donation to this project, every amount counts and makes the difference. You can help Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release with its new project by making a donation clicking on the link here below:
You can also donate via Paypal at [email protected], or why not starting a fundraising event? That’s a great way to give your precious contribute. Another way to help is by shopping on Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release online shop. Here you can find beautiful bespoke Pangolin merchandise, with 100% of the profit going to this campaign.
Last but not least, you can now donate also here on my website. Just check my Save The Wildlife page and click on the “Donate” box. In the same page you can also find more information about Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release, its projects and its great conservation work. Don’t forget to check and follow Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release website, Facebook page, Instagram and Youtube channel for all the news and updates.
Thanks on behalf of Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release.