Six tonnes of rare live pangolins found in Vietnam

Aug 14, 2013
A Philippine Coast Guard inspects pangolins wrapped in plastic bags that were found hidden on a boat in Coron, on April 23, 2013. Vietnamese customs officials say they have found more than six tonnes of live protected pangolins inside a shipping container sent from Indonesia.

Vietnamese customs officials said Wednesday they had found more than six tonnes of live protected pangolins inside a shipping container sent from Indonesia.

The rare creatures—known as "scaly anteaters" for their unusual appearance and prized in China and Vietnam as an exotic meal—were discovered last week during an inspection at the northern port of Hai Phong, a customs official told AFP, declining to provide further details.

The container, which was due to be shipped onwards to an undisclosed final destination, provided documents claiming it contained frozen fish, fins and , according to a report on the Vietnamese government's website.

Since the start of the year, more than 10 tonnes of pangolin—both live and frozen—have been confiscated at Hai Phong port, the report said.

Authorities have also seized 1.2 tonnes of pangolin scales—which are sought after in traditional Vietnamese and Chinese medicine as a remedy for allergies.

The small insect-eating mammals are nearly entirely covered with scales, made of keratin—the same protein that makes up human hair.

Pangolins sell for between eight to ten million dong ($300 - $500) per kilogram at restaurants in Vietnam, according to state media reports.

Trade in is banned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Explore further: Thai Airways bans shark fin from cargo flights

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Protected pangolins seized from Philippine boat

Apr 23, 2013

Philippine authorities have seized 23 protected scaly anteaters found hidden in a cargo boat, in the second case of suspected trafficking of the species in a month, officials said.

Philippines seizes butchered pangolins

Jan 06, 2012

Philippine wildlife authorities seized a huge shipment of meat and scales from up to a hundred slaughtered pangolins, also known as scaly anteaters, officials said on Friday.

Indonesia seizes 85 endangered pangolins

Jul 31, 2012

Indonesian police have intercepted 85 endangered pangolins, most of them alive despite being stuffed into sacks by suspected smugglers, an official said Tuesday.

Endangered pangolins found on Chinese poacher boat

Apr 15, 2013

The Philippine coast guard said Monday it had found hundreds of frozen scaly anteaters, or pangolins, in the cargo hold of a Chinese boat that ran aground in a protected marine sanctuary last week.

Recommended for you

Brother of Hibiscus is found alive and well on Maui

3 hours ago

Most people are familiar with Hibiscus flowers- they are an iconic symbol of tropical resorts worldwide where they are commonly planted in the landscape. Some, like Hawaii's State Flower- Hibiscus brackenridgei- are en ...

Boat noise impacts development and survival of sea hares

5 hours ago

While previous studies have shown that marine noise can affect animal movement and communication, with unknown ecological consequences, scientists from the Universities of Bristol and Exeter and the École Pratique des Hautes ...

Classic Lewis Carroll character inspires new ecological model

21 hours ago

Inspired by the Red Queen in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass, collaborators from the University of Illinois and National University of Singapore improved a 35-year-old ecology model to better understand how species ...

Saving seeds the right way can save the world's plants

Jul 30, 2014

Exotic pests, shrinking ranges and a changing climate threaten some of the world's most rare and ecologically important plants, and so conservationists establish seed collections to save the seeds in banks ...

User comments : 0