Over 90 Javan pangolins have been released back to their natural habitat a month after being saved from smugglers by conservationists in Vietnam.
A total of 93 healthy pangolins were set free on Sunday after being cared for by members of the Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (SVW) and Cuc Phuong National Park, located in the northern province of Ninh Binh.
SVW is a national non-profit organization, committed to protecting and increasing populations of threatened wildlife in Vietnam by rescuing threatened animals, protecting entire populations and ensuring their habitats.
Environmental police in the northern province of Hoa Binh previously seized 113 Javan pangolins, weighing 513 kilograms in total, from local smugglers in April.
The rescued mammals were later transferred to the SVW for treatment and care.
The 93 pangolins were the healthy ones that had been selected to be released back to their home environment.
A pangolin returns to its habitat. Photo: Save Vietnam’s Wildlife
According to the SVW, pangolins are among the most endangered wildlife species in Vietnam.
Despite an international hunting ban, the animals still fall victim to poachers due to the high demand from buyers, who are mainly wealthy people blindly believing that their scales could cure a variety of diseases.
Tran Quang Phuong, manager of the Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program (CPCP) under the SVW, said that the organization has been supported by competent agencies in a bid to protect the mammals.
“We have established rapid response teams to coordinate with local police in the rescue of pangolins from illicit smugglers across Vietnam,” Phuong said.
A hotline has also been set up to aid the rescue efforts, he added.