Pan­golin din­ner stirs calls for species’ pro­tec­tion

China Daily (Canada) - - NEWS CAPSULE -

Con­ser­va­tion groups have called for the gov­ern­ment to in­crease pro­tec­tion of the Chi­nese pan­golin af­ter a social me­dia post trig­gered pub­lic con­cern over the crit­i­cally en­dan­gered wild mam­mal.

A Sina Weibo user posted four pic­tures from 2015 show­ing a pan­golin meat ban­quet held for a busi­ness del­e­ga­tion from Hong Kong. It trig­gered pub­lic crit­i­cism and has led to an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The Chi­nese pan­golin, one of the eight species of pan­golins, has been heav­ily hunted. In tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine, it is be­lieved that con­sum­ing the roasted scales of the pan­golin can help to detox­ify one’s body and re­lieve palsy, while the an­i­mal’s meat is con­sid­ered a del­i­cacy.

Wildlife trade mon­i­tor­ing net­work Traf­fic and en­vi­ron­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tion WildAid in Septem­ber re­leased an overview of the pan­golin trade in China. The re­port said the “il­le­gal trade ap­pears to be con­tin­u­ing un­abated”

One of the authors of the re­view told China Daily that it is dif­fi­cult to pro­tect the Chi­nese pan­golin, un­like the gi­ant panda or snow leop­ard. “The ma­jor­ity of res­cue cen­ters or zoos don’t even know how to keep pan­golins alive, not to mention en­cour­age re­pro­duc­tion,” she said.

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