By Isabelle Lai
Pangolins are the most common mammals seized during raids on illicit wildlife trafficking, with demand for the animal fuelled predominantly by China and Vietnam.
Two of the eight pangolin species are now listed as endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List.
Pangolins are desired for their meat while their scales are prized by traditional Chinese medicine practitioners.
The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) has foiled 50 cases of attempted smuggling since 2010 and seized nearly 1,500 pangolins.
Its enforcement director Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim said he expected demand for pangolins, also known as anteaters or tenggiling in Bahasa Malaysia, to increase with the coming of the winter season in China.
“According to our records, most pangolins are destined for neighbouring countries, including Thailand and Vietnam.
“The bulk of them end up in China.
“Malaysia is a transit point as we have found some pangolins here that were brought in from Indonesia,” he told The Star. More....