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Scal­ing Back

Bangkok—the star of an Au­gust 31 press con­fer­ence in Thai­land was one of the 136 pan­golins re­cently seized by cus­toms o cials there. The mas­sive haul came af­ter o cials re­ceived a tipo about an up­com­ing at­tempt to smug­gle the highly en­dan­gered species from Malaysia. Pan­golins, the only mam­mals with scales, are the world’s most tra cked wild mam­mal, and poach­ers have rav­aged pop­u­la­tions in Asia. Their meat is con­sid­ered a del­i­cacy in Viet­nam and parts of China, and tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine uses the an­i­mal’s ker­atin scales, which are dried and roasted and con­sumed for ev­ery­thing from treat­ing palsy to stim­u­lat­ing lac­ta­tion.


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