Adoption profile: Pangolins

Adopting an animal is a fantastic way to support the work at Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, Malawi’s only wildlife sanctuary.

Although these scaly creatures might look like reptiles, they are actually mammals. In fact, pangolins are the world’s most trafficked mammal, accounting for as much as 20% of all illegal wildlife trade. They are in high demand in countries like China and Vietnam, where their meat is considered a delicacy and their scales are used in traditional medicine – despite there being no scientific evidence of them providing any medicinal value.

Our team at Lilongwe Wildlife Centre are experienced at caring for pangolins. In the last year we received a huge increase in the number of animals that were confiscated from wildlife traffickers as a result of a government-led crackdown on organised crime. This included a spike in rescued pangolins.

Though each pangolin is usually only with us for a short time, looking after these endangered mammals in captivity is notoriously difficult as they are highly prone to stress. It’s also incredibly time and labour intensive. Pangolins feed by foraging on ants, for example, so they must be taken on foraging ‘walks’ twice a day (for up to three hours at a time) to find enough food.

Once a pangolin is deemed fit for release, we work carefully with partners like the Department of Natural Parks and Wildlife and African Parks to choose an appropriate release site that will be safe and provide enough food sources for the animal.  

To adopt rescued pangolins for one year, please click ‘donate’ below. Thank you for your support!

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Pangolin on the hunt