World Pangolin Day

Feb 18, 20221 comment

The 19th of February is a special day in Wild Life Conservation. It is a day dedicated to spreading the word about the pangolin. Although pangolins are not very well known, they are one of the most threatened animals on earth.

The name pangolin derives from the Malay word “penggulung”, which means “one that rolls up”. When threatened a pangolin will curl itself into a ball to protect itself from predators. They are well protected by their scales that very few predators succeed in killing them. Only large predators like lions, leopards and hyenas are powerful enough to break through the tough keratin scales but still with difficulty.

Kapama pangolins

A Pangolin’s diet consists of ants, termites and other invertebrates. A single pangolin can consume close to 20 000 ants a night. That is over 7 million ants in a year. They have long sticky tongues used to catch ants and reach far inside ant nests. The tongue is longer than the animal’s head and body. Certain pangolins tongues are over 40cm long. They don’t have teeth and can’t chew. They have keratinous spines in their stomach. Consuming stones helps to grind up the food and assist with digestion.

They have three claws on each foot which they use to rip into ant and termite nests. One of the pangolin’s more unusual adaptations is that they can close their ears and nostrils, which helps protect them from ant attacks. This means that their nostrils are open when hunting and closed when feeding.

Kapama pangolin Day
Kapama World pangolin Day

There are eight pangolin species worldwide, four in Africa and four in Asia. All eight species are threatened with extinction and are listed as either Vulnerable, Endangered or Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Their scales are made of keratin, just like human nails and are sought after especially in China and Vietnam.

They are hunted for meat, for use in traditional medicine and fashion accessories. Over a million pangolins have been poached over the last decade. Their meat is considered a delicacy, while their scales are believed to treat a range of ailments like asthma, rheumatism and arthritis.

World pangolin day is a great way of raising awareness about these amazing creatures and especially about the threats that they nowadays face.

Story by: Kapama Karula Rangers

1 Comment

  1. Henda Dreyer

    Fantastic Information. Going to pass on to my two grandsons

    Wish I can see one of these pangolins myself!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest news

Why choose a Private Game Reserve

Why choose a Private Game Reserve

When it comes to luxury travel, private reserves offer a level of exclusivity and indulgence that is unmatched. These hidden gems provide a retreat like no other, allowing guests to immerse themselves in nature and experience the ultimate in relaxation and privacy. From the breathtaking landscapes to the personalized service, here’s why private reserves should be at the top of your travel bucket list.

read more
Interesting facts about Cape buffalo

Interesting facts about Cape buffalo

Among the remarkable creatures that inhabit this region, the Cape Buffalo stands out as one of the most fascinating and formidable. In this blog, we delve into the captivating world of the Cape Buffalo and uncover the intricacies of its behaviour, significance in the ecosystem, and the thrill of encountering these majestic beasts up close.

read more
What it takes to become a trails guide

What it takes to become a trails guide

Often guests are not fully aware of the time, effort and dedication that goes into a guide acquiring their necessary Full trails guiding qualifications, which permits them to be able to take guests on a bush walk in the safest possible way on a Big Five Reserve like Kapama.

read more