A Will to live

Still steadfast in his quest to find his food on his own. Even after having fallen down a hill into a creek and then off a bridge into the creek a second time. He just kept going for 2 1/2 hours on the property until he finally tired and crawled up his guardians leg. He was then brought back into the animal enclosure for the night where thankfully, he stayed.

For the last two nights Balin has gotten out of the animal enclosure (AE). Pre-dawn, about 5 AM, two mornings ago, Dave spotted it coming from the opposite direction of the enclosure... trundling home in it's awkward fashion. It had found a way out and had been foraging on it's own all night and was heading straight towards the enclosure.

Last night I went down to see it and it was gone by 10 PM. It had been taken out to forage earlier by his caregiver Rj and put back when he had his fill for awhile. I suspected it wasn't getting enough to eat since in the wild they probably would forage for awhile and rest then forage some more.  I decided to leave the latch open  in the enclosure so it could push the door open rather than have to crawl around to his bolt hole. When I got up this morning the door what open baby pangolin sized and he was in his sleeping basin. What a relief. I hardly slept a wink worrying about how he might go in the road and get run over!

It's growing and needs more food than previously. Plus, I had been told by a pangolin researcher that the babies his organization cared for grew faster.  It's very hard for us to harvest as many ants as it can eat in a day.  We lack the proper facilities to supply it with its own freezer harvested ants and termites for the rainy season which just hit tonight it seems. Quite the downpour.

The approximately 3 month old pangolin squeezed almost his entire body into the bamboo pole.

Today, we think we got the weak spot in the enclosure fixed, or so we think. I decided to go ahead and let it out when it was time to be fed as opposed to being carried to the spots to eat, I just followed where it wanted to go on it's own. It went straight for the bamboo groves where it has been taken for 2 months now. It immediately found a rotting bamboo pole that he had previously scavenged and it literally almost crawled all the way inside of it. The ants had rebuilt their nest inside the next chamber. I was so amazed that it was able to squeeze his spiny body inside. I thought we might have to help extricate him.  We didn't. He made his way out fine on his own. This creature amazes me.

I had serious doubts it could get out on it's own so I told Jhun to be prepared to help break open the pole.
The little scaly anteater that could! This little guy has such a will to live. He only weight 700 grams now after two months of staying with us. He is only, including tail, 47 centimeters long. Not including tail 25.5 centimeters in body length

Amazing where he can stick that pointed head of his.
This is the first night in 2 months it has not been carried out to eat and assisted in finding the food. Tonight for 2 1/2 hours it wandered on it's own and found it's own food. I noticed it had a lot more perseverance in sticking to one area now that he's had to work at finding his own food. When he was carried in between spot to spot he had a tendency to turn his nose up, as it were, if he didn't want an ant at that moment, or that particular kind of ant. I noticed tonight that he stayed a long time at the food he found on his own and didn't exhibit his picky behaviour at all.

When it had it's fill of the ants inside the first bamboo pole tonight, it wandered up the hill by the creek and then down a bit. We heard this splash,  it had fallen into the creek. It just righted itself, swam a bit and headed back up the hill again.  It crossed the bamboo bridge to get across the creek, leaned over and fell in again. Kersplash! No problem. It swam upstream a foot or so and began his ascent back up the opposite bank and another bamboo grove known by him to be particularly infested with several varieties of ants. He's just so determined to survive. If he survives us caring for him, he can survive anything as we have been flying by the seats of our pants.

He has no problem and frequently finds ant nests in the cut bamboo stumps.

He's done with this hole for the night.
Balin's alternate guardian. Instead of carrying the anteater to it's prey, tonight we let him wander off on his own with Jhun trailing behind him to watch and see where it went. When it was brought back to it's cage there was a big termite mound waiting for it. It snacked some more on it and then slept the rest of the night. It didn't attempt to get out the rest of the night.

Moving on to greener pastures as it were.

As I write this, I can hear Jhun pounding on a termite mound they found earlier, to break it open so that later, Balin can feed on it back inside the safety of the enclosure. Hopefully tonight with the food inside, it will not have to find a way outside to eat more. We can't afford a dedicated person to just follow it all night. Tonight Jhun said when it had it's fill, it found him and crawled up his leg to rest. He then took it back to the enclosure.

It's raining quite hard outside and of course I fear the rain will wash away his scent trail back home. I do hope I am wrong if he does manage to get out again.

Here is the video of him at dusk when he first left his enclosure to forage on his own without any help from his guardian.