A man from Ho Chi Minh City handed a pangolin over to the local forest protection unit after buying the wild animal from a street seller and attempting to release it in a forest.
The Ho Chi Minh City forest protection department confirmed on Tuesday it had received a Javan pangolin from 40-year-old Luu Van Hieng, who resides in District 12.
Hieng told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that he and his friends were traveling along a street in Bac Binh District in south-central Binh Thuan Province in late September when he saw a man selling over 10 spotted doves, four non-venomous snakes, and a pangolin.
Hieng decided to buy all of the wild animals at about VND8 million (US$335) and release them at a local forest.
However, the pangolin did not run away when it was released and just curled up instead.
|The pangolin rescued by Luu Van Hieng. Photo: Ngoc Khai / Tuoi Tre|
Afraid that the pangolin would be captured once again, Hieng took the animal back to Ho Chi Minh City and handed it over to the city’s forest protection department.
“I can rest assure that the pangolin is now in safe hands,” the man said.
According to a forest protection officer, the wild animal is a female Javan pangolin weighing about one kilogram.
The Javan pangolin, also known as the Manis javanica, is classified as rare and endangered.
The officer suggested that people should not buy wild animals from sellers and instead report to the local People’s Committee, police unit, or forest protection unit.
In Vietnam, pangolins are considered highly vulnerable to extinction, according to Save Vietnam’s Wildlife, a not-for-profit acting for wildlife’s sake, though trafficking the species remains lucrative due to perceived medicinal properties.