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16 Sunda Pangolins released back into the wild

As many as 16 Sunda Pangolins, the 17th this month, were released today in a safe and undisclosed location in Viet Nam.

A Sunda Pangolin is emerging from a box to return to the wildlife.
A Sunda Pangolin is emerging from a box to return to the wildlife.

The release occurred in the lead up to World Pangolin Day on Saturday by the Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Programme (CPCP), a collaboration between Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (// and Cuc Phuong National Park.

The critically endangered pangolins were rescued from the wildlife trade and rehabilitated at SVW/CPCP in Cuc Phuong National Park, Ninh Binh Province.

Executive Director of Save Vietnam’s Wildlife, Nguyen Van Thai said, “Unfortunately pangolins are rapidly disappearing from the forests due to the wildlife trade and habitat loss. By releasing these Sunda pangolins back into the wild we are boosting wildlife populations and are helping the conservation efforts in Viet Nam.”

The released pangolins were confiscated by Forest Protection Department officers in Nghe An, Ha Nam and Thanh Hoa provinces between August and December 2015 in a traumatised and poor state and transferred to CPCP.

Nguyen Van Thai is checking a Sunda Pangolin in transport box. — Photos courtesy of Save Vietnam’s Wildlife

After a period of nursing and care they were eventually deemed healthy enough to be returned to the wild. Two of the released pangolins were a mother and child that had been rescued together and have now been returned to the wild.

Luong Tat Hung, Head Keeper of the CPCP stated, “The release was a great success. It is wonderful to see pangolins that we have rescued and cared for finally back in their forest homes.”

Pangolins are the most traded animals in the world. Viet Nam has two species (Sunda Pangolin and Chinese Pangolin) and both species are critically endangered, which means both are in imminent threat of becoming extinct in the wild. This latest release will bring the number to 75 Sunda Pangolins released by Save Vietnam’s Wildlife in the last eight months.