Thirty-three Javan pangolins rescued from wildlife traffickers have been released back into the wild at a forest in Vietnam.
The release was done on Thursday’s night and at an undisclosed forest to ensure safety for the endangered mammals, according to the Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program (CPCP), a collaboration between Cuc Phuong National Park and Save Vietnam’s Wildlife.
These Javan pangolins, also referred to as Sunda pangolins, were rescued after an illegal pangolin smuggling ring was busted by police in the south-central province of Quang Ngai in August.
The rescued mammals were then transferred to Cuc Phuong National Park in the northern province of Ninh Binh, where they have since been taken care of until the Thursday release, the CPCP said Friday.
Rangers are releasing the pangolins at night. Photo provided by CPCP
As pangolins are nocturnal, the animals were released at night. Such action also aims to minimize the notice of illegal hunters.
The release of the rescued animals will help to increase the pangolin population in the wild.
According to CPCP, pangolins are facing great risks of extinction and therefore considered an endangered species.
Any activities of hunting, trading, or using products made from pangolins are deemed illegal under the Vietnamese laws.
The pangolins are fed before their release. Photo provided by CPCP