This timid scaley mammal is the world’s most trafficked animal. According to the IUCN around 2.6 million pangolins are poached each year. The main driver of the poaching? Their scales are dried and ground into powder for Chinese medicine capsules -believed to help with menstrual disorders, lactation and arthritis.
With the Chinese species critically endangered, the market has turned to its African counterpart, whose population is quickly declining. Pangolins may look like armadillos, but they’re more closely related to bears and dogs and constitute their own taxonomic order. Once extinct there will be nothing like them left on Earth.
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