Scientific name: Manis
Pangolins have protective keratin scales covering their skin; they are the only known mammals with this feature. They live in hollow trees or burrows, depending on the species. They are nocturnal, and their diet consists of mainly of ants and termites though at times they may eat some fruit.
Lions unable to open a tight curled pangolin. .
I first heard of these appealing animals through a nature program on TV today. It covered their world wide habitat and the threat of extinction. Pangolin scales and meat are still sold in Asia chiefly as medical nostrums and food. The demand is apparently very strong. Since pangolins are easily captured, they are harvested by the hundreds of thousands, and so, people fear, might become extinct. Thousands of sacks of scales are for sale, as are huge truckloads of pangolins after weeks tightly curled up in defensive postures. In South Africa and SE Asia there are active projects to protect and preserve them. The goal is to rescue them and return them to the wild. This was the focus of the program I saw.
However, the effect of the video program on me personally was probably counter productive, because now I wish I had one myself! Not to eat or to cure my bodily ills but simply because they are at least as appealing as Our Best Friends — Cats and Dogs and Horses. They are easier to care for, and quite docile; they are slow moving, and easily picked up or carried about, which they don’s seem to mind at all. As with a pet dog I doubt I could ever use one for medicinal purposes, or for food; I have not faced such a circumstance; well, not yet!. Their diet is tricky; in my circumstances food would have to be purchased at pet stores or on line. Yet there’s this: Until the commercial food gets here the rotting logs in my little forest should do nicely….
The power of the net is unfathomable, incredible and unlimited. Surely with a little poking around, I could buy my little pangolin from a SE Asia or So Africa branch of Amazon or Target or Walmart! .I don’t know if there is a saying similar to ‘ A picture is worth a thousand words’ , but about the ‘net’ There should be one like this:
“ The net is worth a gazillion libraries ” Or a gazillion air miles, you get the idea.Here is a you tube video that’s far more informative than more of my weak words. Of course it’s about the little anteater that is said not to be an anteater, even if it eats ants. Paste it into your browser, you won’t be sorry! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pSeMeSaDpA