We have written about pangolins – armored, oddly cute mammal covered in thick scales that kind of looks like the adorable offspring of an anteater and an armadillo – a few times before, but always under bittersweet circumstances.
Pangolins are highly endangered – not only is deforestation destroying many of their natural habitat, they are threatened by poachers who are after their valuable meat and scales. They are also the most trafficked mammal in the world.
In the latest pangolin poaching catch, yesterday Surabaya customs officials revealed a seized shipment of 1.3 tons of frozen pangolin bound for Singapore.
It is likely that the pangolins were ultimately bound for China, where many believe pangolin meat can improve kidney function and that their scales have medicinal value.
To prevent them from falling into the wrong hands, authorities disposed of the frozen pangolin bodies by burning them.
As sad as these images are, at least they show some progress being made against pangolin poachers, who we hope are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.