Pangolin Videos

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Stop Eating Pangolins

What happens when the last pangolin is gone? Then what are you going to eat?  Give it up, and teach poachers to be smart.  Have them take up jungle survival, teach tourists how to survive in the wild, and show them the creatures alive! This, you can pass on to your children, and their children's children, and so on.

Balin, the rescued baby pangolin, covered in ants.
When you eat these creatures, or sell them to people who eat them, forests, and people on the other side of the world suffer. Is that something you want your children to know, that you ate or sold the last pangolin? That your appetite created a  non sustainable livelihood. Without the pangolin, an overabundance of ants and termites will over run the forests, which are already disappearing from logging and development. They will be gone soon, very soon and then what you substitute it with, that also has an end and tragic consequence.

Those of you who are eating pangolins, also known as the scaly anteater, or if you know someone who eats them, please tell them they are eating a creature very important to the environment. The scales do not have any medicinal value and there are so many better and effective plant alternatives.

Last week alone, 8,000 pangolins were found killed and processed. The pangolin is a gentle creature, it doesn't even have any teeth. Adult pangolins eat at least 70 million pests like ants and termites every year. This is not a good time in the world to be doing this, the world is in peril, all of us are in peril and we are doing it to ourselves.

We need to educate the end consumers as to what they are doing to the planet for the sake of their tastebuds. We need to re-educate the poachers and teach them a sustainable way to make a living. People fly from all over the world to see live Tarsiers in Cebu, and the whale shark in Donsol. Why can't we retrain poachers to be forest guides and jungle survival teachers, and people can pay to see live animals instead. It may not make as much in the beginning, but it will be a more lasting job.

Palawan people should be proud of the pangolin and not take it for granted. A friend ran into two chaps recently, who boasted of eating them, saying there are so many of them....this will not be true very soon. Please tell people of the plight of the pangolin.

Here is a video I made to teach people the value of the pangolin. Please take a moment to watch it. I haven't really done one before, but for the pangolin, I try. Please feel free to share it.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Pangolin -also a forest gardener

I have been thinking of little Balin, the Palawan pangolin of late, since his kind have become one of the most endangered on the planet due to illegal wildlife trade for their meat and scales. I am glad that they are in the news so that hopefully, a lot so people will stop eating them.
Balin making much for tender young sprouts below on the ground.
I want to share this one last thing about him. I will always be so very grateful to have known such a gentle and marvelously important creature.

In our forest in Palawan, I watched one of these gentle creatures digging into very hard earth, so hard I had trouble breaking clumps apart with my knife. This little gardener dug with no problem and I watched a seed fall where he dug and as he dug for ants, so did this seed get buried; only to await the next rain so it would grow. Later he dug into a huge fallen tree...he tore through the bark and it crumbled to the ground into hundreds of tiny pieces and I saw a young seedling be covered with this mulch to protect the moisture in the soil so it would have a chance at becoming a tree. One cloudy night the full moon peeked out from behind a cloud, Balin sat on his haunches and had his paws together as he looked up at it, it looked like he was praying.

When I went back to where he had dug into the tree trunk months later, I noticed that the plants he mulched while foraging for termites, had flourished and grown, while those he did not mulch, shriveled and died.

These creatures are the gardeners of the forest as well as the controllers of the insects that would eat at all the plants that abound there. Balin, the little orphaned pangolin in Palawan taught me so much of its role in our forest as I walked with it while it foraged early evening till late at night for 2 months; when sated it would crawl up my leg to be brought back to it's safe lair. It must be so with all pangolins, the gentle forest garden wizards, silently doing the job allotted them with none the wiser.

They go about their job skillfully in the dark of night, so none might see the magic they do. For this they are rewarded with genocide, because they will not defend themselves by aggression, they passively curl up into a ball and let their armor protect them. Alas, it does not protect them from us humans.

Please teach all that can make a difference of the importance of these gentle little wizards of the forest. Who knows how many things will cease to grow without them. What trees are destroyed in any country they exist, will affect the global warming of the earth and affect us all.

Trafficked pangolin curry in Indonesia. Credit: TRAFFIC
These wonderful and harmless creatures are being harvested at EPIC and non sustainable proportions. This is what becomes of them. Help stop the madness.