By Saroja Coelho
The pangolin is under threat of being hunted to extinction by poachers in Southeast Asia's illegal wildlife trade, who hunt it for its meat and its scales. A new center in Cambodia is doing all it can to save the animal.
A week old baby pangolin sniffs at the air and snuggles down next to its mother. She curls around him to keep him warm. The mother pangolin is brown, scaly and about the size of a small dog. She's also missing part of her front limbs.
She was captured last year by hunters involved in the illegal wildlife trade. But, she was rescued by rangers and brought to the Pangolin Rehabilitation Center in Cambodia's Takeo province. The facility opened up at the end of last year.
Roth Utdom is the animal keeper at the center. Every day he carries a bucket of ants and termites into the outdoor cage, where the pangolins live. He's proud of the new pangolin baby.
"I'm very happy to have raised the pangolins well enough that they can now breed,” Utdom told the news agency AP. "Pangolins are very difficult to care for."
Roth drops the termites and ants onto a plate and the pangolins dig in.
The keepers look after rescued pangolins which can't immediately be released back into the wild. Many of them are missing limbs because they were trapped in hunters' snares. More....