“In this episode, we highlight one of the world’s most unusual and trafficked animals, the pangolin. I sit-down with wildlife conservation professional, Lauren Ayres. She’s the pangolin conservation coordinator for the Global Conservation Force (GFC) and currently an educator at one of the nation’s most reputable zoos. We discuss pangolins, the Coronavirus, illegal wildlife trade, the ethics of wet markets, and why we should conserve the world’s only scaly mammal. Other topics include Netflix’s ‘Tiger King’ and Lauren’s early beginnings at a big cat rescue” – Corbin Maxey
Pangolins, or ‘scaly anteaters’ as they are often called, are fascinating mammals covered head-to-toe in overlapping keratin scales. By using large front claws and an incredibly long & sticky tongue, pangolins hunt and survive on a diet of ants and termites. Each of the 8 species share these common characteristics, as well as a rapidly declining population due to poaching.
The word ‘pangolin’ is derived from the Malay word pengguling which translates to “one who rolls up.” A pangolin’s best defense is to roll in a ball and “hope for the best” – using its overlapping scales as protection against a predators bite or grasp, rendering them easily captured by poachers.