A Balinese man was shocked to come across one of Indonesia’s most exotic animals right on his doorstep.
On Saturday, January 5, 2019, I Ketut Gede Yasa Ariana heard a neighbourhood dog barking frantically in front of his house. Ariana looked around and found a curled up pangolin on his property.
Pangolins are scaly, cat-sized anteaters. They are now endangered due to poaching and illegal trading. Pangolin scales and meat are in high demand because of their alleged medicinal values, making them the world’s most trafficked animal.
Ariana was initially not aware of what the animal was. “I had to check what the animal was on Google,” said the 28-year-old to Tribun Bali. “It turned out that it was a rare and protected species so I decided I would contact the Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) or the Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA) for safekeeping,” he continued.
With the pangolin secured in a cage normally used for Ariana’s cat, the BKSDA were called in, though officers were reluctant to take the animal without the relevant paperwork.
“He said that tomorrow [today], the pangolin would be taken into the office, but the official letters needed to be drafted first. He didn’t dare take the animal without the official paperwork,” explained Ariana to the source.
Apparently, it’s not the first of its kind to be discovered in the area. A few months previously, a larger pangolin was secured by the BKSDA from a neighbor’s home. As the pangolin’s natural habitat is rainforest, both creatures are suspected to have escaped from the nearby bird market where, sadly, they would have been illegally trafficked.
Ariana hopes that his rescue effort will contribute to preserving the pangolin population for generations to come. “Hopefully, it will breed and our children and grandchildren will be able to see pangolins. It’s not a definite that they will be able to see these rare animals in the future,” he concluded.
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