Monday, June 11, 2012
More than 100 endangered exotic animals that resemble pines cones were rescued from poachers this week.
The 110 pangolins, worth more than $35,000, were to be sold outside the country, officials say.
These critters are hunted by poachers for their meat and scales that are believed by the Chinese and other Asian cultures to cure everything from skin ailments to sexual impotency.
Their scales are even thought to have the power to woo a man if buried under his door, says the African Wildlife Foundation’s website.
Pangolins, ant- and termite-eating animals are usually active only at night and remain in burrows during the day. Their natural habitat of Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos has seen a major drop-off in the defenseless species, with populations reduced by at least 50%.
Photo: Sakchai Lalit/AP