The Sunda pangolin is an amazing animal - a scaly mammal that eats ants and termites, hides in dense forest, and rolls into a tiny ball when scared. We have never before tried to keep pangolins when they arrive at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center (PTWRC). If they are uninjured, we release them immediately far away from human habitation. If they are injured or too young to fend for themselves, we send them to the Angkor Centre for the Conservation of Biodiversity in Siem Reap, where there is a specialist pangolin care program. Even so, many do not survive – pangolins are fussy eaters feeding only on ants. They are also very susceptible to stress and are extremely difficult to keep in captivity.
Our pangolin, Bangroul, was rescued from a wildlife trader in Kampot province, suffering from a badly broken leg. The veterinarian was unable to save Bangroul’s leg and was forced to amputate. Two young trainee keepers were given the job of finding termites and tree ants for Bangroul to eat every day. Against all the odds, Bangroul our three-legged pangolin, has survived and still lives in our Quarantine Area.
The Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica) is native not only to Cambodia, but across Southeast Asia. However, there is virtually no information available on population levels of any species of Asian pangolin. Pangolins are rarely observed in the wild due to their secretive and solitary habits. Anecdotal reports from hunters suggest that pangolins have been in decline since 1990, when the commercial trade began to escalate. A massive illegal trade is driving Bangroul’s friends to extinction in the wild. Pangolins are intensively hunted for their skin, meat and scales, which serve a variety of illegal markets throughout Asia. As a result, the Sunda pangolin and all pangolin species in Asia are recognized as endangered.
Like other pangolins, Bangroul is nocturnal, solitary and eats primarily ants and termites. How can you help Bangroul and his friends? Help Wildlife Alliance care for Bangroul and other rescued pangolins by making a donation today!
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