Officials in the southeast Asian country of Laos recently stopped a suspicious man as he attempted to cross the border into neighboring Thailand. But it wasn’t the man they were looking for — it was the dozens of bright-red crates he was carrying that seemed suspect.
When they opened them, they discovered something shocking.
These were the crates that the man was found with. After officials detained him, they confiscated the crates and prepared to look inside.
But they weren’t prepared for what they contained. The blue bags were moving.
Inside the bags were dozens of pangolins. There were 81 pangolins, to be exact.
These little rolly-polly mammals are native to Africa and Asia.
They were smuggled in the tiny sacks under terrible conditions for what was likely weeks. One of them sadly died before the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand could help.
The pangolins were likely on their way to Thailand and eventually China to be sold on the black market, where their scales and meat go for high prices.
These highly endangered animals are easily stressed, and can perish just from anxiety.
A whopping 80% of the world’s sunda pangolins, just like these guys, have been killed in the last twenty years.
This makes it even more wonderful that these little guys were found before it was too late.
Sadly, only 48 of the pangolins ultimately survived their ordeal. But those that did survive were taken to protected national parks to live out their lives in happiness.
It’s hard to imagine what this poor creatures had to endure. Let’s stop their decline before they’re all gone.
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