Thursday, April 3, 2014

The most amazing animal you've never heard of--the pangolin!!

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Meet Marimba, the Pangolin!

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What on earth is a pangolin you ask?
Why the most adorable and amazing animal you've probably never heard of.

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When someone first mentioned the pangolin and its rarity--it's rapidly disappeared in its home in tropical Asia and Africa--
I honestly thought they either couldn't pronounce penguin or were playing a strange practical joke.
(Random fact for you: their tongues are longer than their bodies!!)

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Then I met this lovely lady...and fell in love. Pangolins are amazing and so cool!

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Beautiful isn't she?
Her scales are keratin--the same material that people have horrendously hunted rhinos for--and is the only known mammal with this adaption.
Pangolin comes from the Malay word meaning "something that rolls up."

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They walk on only their hind legs, holding their front legs (arms?) to their chest.
It was so intriguing to watch, just mezmorizing.

Check out how they balance and walk here:

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Unfortunately pangolins have largely disappeared because the Chinese believe their scales have medicinal qualities which has resulted in poaching similar to
 rhino horn poaching and their meat is considered a delicacy.

They classified as an endangered species. There is an international ban on their trade.

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Isn't Marimba a beauty and just so interesting? 
Wild is Life is trying hard to do its part and save the few pangolins left in Zimbabwe.
In fact, legally, the president of Zimbabwe owns every pangolin in Zimbabwe and regularly receives reports on their health to help combat their trafficking. The man holding her? He's her handler who is with her every day to ensure no one poaches her.

For more information on pangolins, here's their wikipedia page.

Check out some fun facts about pangolins here!

CNN recently wrote an article on them: "The most trafficked mammal you've never heard of"
(From the article: a pangolin--a rare, scale-covered mammal, about the size of a house cat, that's so bizarre it almost forces your brain to flip through a Rolodex of more-familiar images. It could be described as a walking pine cone or an artichoke with legs- a tiny dinosaur or friendly crocodile. The pangolin possesses none of the cachet of better-known animals that are hot on the international black market. It lacks the tiger's grace, the rhino's brute strength. If they pangolin went to high school, it would be the drama geek--elusive, nocturnal, rarely appreciated, and barely understood. When it's frightened, it actually curls up into a roly-poly ball. The pangolin could go extinct before most people realize it exists. Or, more to the point: it could go extinct because of that."

Spread the news about pangolins--let's make sure everyone knows about how awesome they are!

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