We're Celebrating A Very Special Mother This Mother’s Day!

We're Celebrating A Very Special Mother This Mother’s Day!

Posted by Georgia Wilson on 31st Mar 2019

While Mother’s Day has become something of a commercially-driven holiday, it still holds the important message of honouring our mothers and mother-like figures. Today, we’re paying homage to a very special (and new!) mother, a critically endangered Chinese pangolin. 

As you may be aware by now, the pangolin species have been noted the world’s most trafficked mammal. Due to this, four out of the eight pangolin species are endangered with two at critical levels. This pangolin is not only special because of her conservation status though, she is also believed to be the only known Chinese pangolin in all of Laos, until now that is! 

Baby Chinese Pangolin

The Laos Wildlife Sanctuary received this pangolin as part of a huge confiscation of an illegal wildlife trade destined to reach Viet Nam, and likely intended to be used for traditional medicine or food delicacies. Among a large number of snakes, pangolins, turtles and tortoises, this rare pangolin found refuge at the sanctuary along with a Sunda pangolin (which are also critically endangered). Sadly, not all the animals rescued survived due to the extremely poor conditions and stress they were subject to leading up to the intended trade.

The last documented Chinese pangolin in Laos was in 1999, meaning this pangolin is the first of its kind to be sighted in the country for 20 years. If that wasn’t incredible in itself, they later found her to be pregnant. Though, the stress of her previous handling from the illegal wildlife trade left the sanctuary staff doubtful of whether she would carry the baby to full term. Against the odds, she delivered the second known Chinese pangolin in Laos last week! The sanctuary has confirmed that the baby is healthy and that both of them are doing well in these early stages. This is a huge success story and achievement for not only the sanctuary, but the county and the conservation of pangolins too. Catch the very first glimpse the Vet team caught of the baby by watching the video below...



The Laos Wildlife Sanctuary aim to rehabilitate and release as many of the animals that come into their care as possible. For this mother-baby duo though, more research will need to be undertaken in order for them to confidently release them. Using staff knowledge and input from pangolin specialists, the sanctuary has built an enclosure to encourage natural behaviours and allow them to live the most natural life possible. Hopefully one day they will be released into the wild, but until then they are in very good hands with round-the-clock care.  

Join us in wishing this very special pangolin a happy Mother's Day!


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