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Pangolins are officially the most-trafficked animal in the world.

In October of 2016 at the CITES convention held in Johannesburg, South Africa, all eight species were upgraded to Appendix 1. This means that international trade in animals is strictly prohibited. In addition to this there are some amazing people working tirelessly to save this exceptional species.

All eight species are listed as endangered or vulnerable on the IUCN red list.

There are eight species of this scaled and elusive creature. Four of them, The Indian pangolin, Formosan pangolin, Sunda pangolin and Palawan pangolin are found in Asia and are different because they have tiny bristles between their scales. In Africa the four species found south of the Sahara are the Temminck’s ground pangolin, Tree pangolin, Giant pangolin and the Long-tailed pangolin. 

These ant- & termite eating little animals are the only mammals covered in scales consisting of keratin (the same as in fingernails, hair, and similar to rhino horn).

As they have no defence against humans, aside from rolling themselves into a ball, poachers can simply pick them up and bag them without any resistance. This makes them vulnerable beyond belief.


 Interesting Facts about Pangolins:

  • They only have one baby per year, in Winter.
  • When threatened, they roll into a ball to try and protect themselves. The name ‘Pangolin’ is derived from meaning ‘something that rolls into a ball’.
  • Humans are their worst enemy, as other animals mostly leave them alone. Lions and leopards will try their luck, but cannot bite through the scales.
  • Pangolins walk on their hind feet, using their tails for balance and holding their front feet with its sharp claws in the air like hands. They use their powerful claws to break open termite mounds and ants nests to get to the juicy insects inside.
  • They can climb trees and swim.
  • Their lifespan is unknown, as they do not do well in captivity. The oldest recorded pangolin in captivity lived for 19 years.
  • Pangolin scales are smuggled by the ton, meaning that thousands of these animals are being killed per month. It is estimated that around 100 000 pangolins are killed and smuggled every year.
  • They do not have teeth, thus they cannot chew. The millions of insects they eat annually are ground up in their stomachs via stones and keratin to enable digestion.
  • They grow 50cm – 1m in length, with their weight being 5 – 15 kg. Their sticky tongues can be longer than their bodies!
  • Pangolins are Solitary, Nocturnal Animals.
  • Poaching of Pangolins is fuelled by Superstitious beliefs of ‘Medicinal’ efficacy.
  • A coat of armor made from Pangolin scales was given to King George III in 1820.


  • Share this Article, and create awareness for the plight of these animals
  • Keep your eyes and ears open, and report all Wildlife Crime and Suspicious Behaviour to your nearest Authority
  • Support trusted Conservation Authorities, whose Anti-Poaching teams will also protect Pangolins in their territories and projects. Make sure these organizations adhere to Transparency and #EthicalConservation Practices. To Support Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation in our various Wildlife Projects, please go to: Help our Wildlife
  • Share this information on all Social Media Platforms.
  • Educate Children where possible, and foster the love for animals in their hearts.


 Copyright 2018: Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation 





A glimpse into how we help the rhino orphans and their caregivers through the generous support of the public.To help...

Posted by Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation on Sunday, March 27, 2016

Rhino horn trade being reopened will completely go against CITES recommendations 

Rhino Poaching Numbers Have Fallen For The First Time In A Decade According To The Department Of Environmental Affairs In South Africa.

The poaching figures were released a day after the South African High Court dismissed the government’s application to appeal an earlier ruling lifting a moratorium on the domestic sale of rhino horns.

South Africa’s national rhino horn trade being reopened will completely go against CITES which urges all member countries to adopt comprehensive legislation and enforcement controls, including internal trade restrictions and penalties, aimed at reducing illegal trade in rhino horn, It will make it much harder for already overstretched law enforcement agencies to tackle illegal rhino horn trafficking.

Although South Africa reports small decrease in rhino poaching, Africa-wide, 2015 was still the worst on record.
In Namibia, 80 rhinos were lost to poachers in 2015 – up from 25 in 2014 and just 4 in 2013. In Zimbabwe, 50 animals were killed – more than double the previous year’s total. These three countries are home to nearly 95 per cent of all remaining African rhinos.

South Africa’s environment minister Edna Molewa said on Thursday that 1,175 dead rhinos were discovered during the country’s annual census of poaching activities - 40 less than the 2014 record of 1,215.


During 2015‚ 124 rhino were translocated from the Kruger park to protect them from poachers. “These translocations to protected areas will continue in March 2016‚” Molewa said.


“A lot of work was done and that spike was actually averted. It is undeniable that this is because of the efforts of our people in particular the concerted efforts of law enforcement and security agencies,” Molewa said.

A total of 317 arrests related to rhino poaching at the Kruger National Park were made last year‚ and a total of 188 firearms were seized at the park in the year.

According to TRAFFIC data, Africa-wide rhino poaching totals reached 1,299 animals in 2014. The latest figure from South Africa means the continent-wide total in 2015 was at least 1,305.

Molewa has been reported to not giving up so easily.  Her and her legal team will be going to the Supreme Court of Appeal, and once they have filed their application to appeal, the moratorium will go back into effect.  Let's hope that DEA win this time..