When Peggy the pangolin came to us last year, she was missing her left rear foot – likely an injury from a snare trap. Sadly, such injuries are relatively common for the pangolins that come into our care. And as Malawian law enforcement agencies clamp down on wildlife crime, we’re receiving more and more pangolins for rehabilitation – one in 2018, six in 2019, 24 in 2020 and 33 last year.

We cleaned Peggy’s wound daily for six weeks, as well as taking her on long walks to forage for ants. Our veterinary team performed surgery to remove the exposed bone (the first successful major surgery on a pangolin in Malawi), and the wound healed nicely and eventually closed up. Peggy learned to walk quite comfortably, using her tail for extra support in place of her missing foot.

Pangolins are the world’s most trafficked mammal, accounting for as much as 20% of all illegal wildlife trade.

One of the critical factors in Peggy’s successful rehabilitation was dedicating a staff member to her care. Under the guidance of our veterinary and animal care team, this staff member performed the majority of the wound management as well as accompanying Peggy on her foraging walks – sometimes for up to six hours at a time. His medical skills and pangolin care experience were invaluable.

Once Peggy was deemed fit for release after four months in our care, our team worked carefully with partners, including the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, to choose a release site that was safe and provided enough food sources. We’re delighted to report that Peggy was recently taken to a protected area to begin her ‘soft release’ process with a tracking device. So far, she’s settling into her new life really well, maintaining a healthy weight and managing to move and forage successfully. We’ll continue to monitor her movements to ensure that she settles in well to her new environment.

Watch Peggy in this clip from Malawi Wildlife Rescue


number of pangolins we cared for in 2021

As with all the pangolins we care for, we appreciate the technical support and advice given to us by the Tikki Hywood Foundation.

Peggy is just one of 33 pangolins we’ve cared for over the past year, up 40% from the year before. As the world’s most trafficked mammal, pangolins account for as much as 20% of all illegal wildlife trade and are now threatened with extinction.

Please consider supporting our work with a donation as we rescue, rehabilitate and release these endangered animals back into the wild – where they belong.


While they look and act a lot like anteaters and armadillos, pangolins are more closely related to bears, cats and dogs.

Report pangolin crime

Help protect pangolins by anonymously notifying the authorities if you see pangolins for sale at markets or on restaurant menus, or if you know of anyone capturing or possessing pangolins.

To report suspicious activity, call 0994 942240 or email