World Pangolin Day

World Pangolin Day is observed on the third Saturday of February to create awareness of rapidly declining of this critically endangered mammal from the earth. Eventhogh they are mistaken as reptiles, they are mammals with scales on their body. Pangolins are illegally trafficked for their meat and scales. They are the most smuggled mammals in the world. Pangolin’s meat, blood and scales are widely used and consumed by people who follow traditional medicines.

There are eight species of pangolins in the world and they are vulnerable to critically endangered categories of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). It is found almost everywhere except desert regions, four species of pangolins are found in Asia, while Africa is native to four species of pangolins.

The name pangolin comes from the malayan word “penggulung” which means “roller”. When they are in danger, they curl into a ball-like shape for their protection. They are a secretive animal and more active at night and very hard to find out. More research are still going on about their habitat. Pangolins mainly feed insects, ants and termites.

Nandankanan Zoological Park, located 15 kilometers away from Odisha capital, Bhubaneswar, has Indian pangolin Conservation Breeding Centre and maintains Indian pangolins in captivity since 1962.

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