Malaysian authorities rescue 130 pangolins

December 20, 2009
Handout photo from the World Wildlife Fund in Malaysia shows a pangolin climbing a tree. Malaysian wildlife authorities said they have rescued 130 pangolins and arrested two men attempting to smuggle the protected species destined to be sold to restaurants and medicine shops.

Malaysian wildlife authorities said they have rescued 130 pangolins and arrested two men attempting to smuggle the protected species, destined to be sold to restaurants and medicine shops.

Officials from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks said the two men were detained at a cemetery in central Pahang state, national news agency Bernama said late Saturday.

"The cemetery is believed to be the transit point before the animals are taken to (southern state) Johor and illegally exported to China, Japan and Hong Kong," state department head Khairiah Mohamad Shariff told Bernama.

He added the 130 pangolins seized were worth 40,000 ringgit (11,500 dollars).

Malaysian marine police on Thursday rescued 62 pangolins.

Pangolins are indigenous to the jungles of Indonesia, parts of and areas of southern Thailand. The animal's meat is considered a delicacy in China, but it is classified as a protected species under the UN's Convention on International Trade in .

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