Pangolins, an endangered species

Also from us ocuel animal and nature conservation is important. When we came across Mareike, who was enthusiastic about Pangolins and her inspiring story, it quickly became clear that we had to cooperate with each other. We would like to share Mareike's story and draw attention to the endangered pangolins with every order. In addition, we will soon be offering postcards with a pangolin illustration by Mareike, the entire profit of which goes to a non-profit organization for the protection of animals. In the following, Mareike reports how pangolin became aware of:

The first time I saw pangolins (also called pangolins) was when I was reading an illustrated book from the project group Photographers against Wildlife Crime1 held in the hands. A mother and her youngster waiting to be bought at a wildlife market in Indonesia, only to end up in a restaurant kitchen. The shocking sight of a sea of dead pangolins described by the caption as part of approximately 4,000 animals confiscated in Indonesia. But also one of the Tikki Hywood Foundation2 Rescued pangolin in Zimbabwe that peeks out of a box, opposes these sad scenes with a little hope.

I was moved by these pictures and the stories that tell about the animals, the people who want to help them and the hurdles they encounter. I was particularly shocked by the helplessness of the pangolins, which are actually protected as well as hardly any other animal. In case of danger, the pangolins simply roll up and set up their scales. If necessary, they simply roll up a cub. They have been successful against enemies for hundreds of thousands of years, even lions cannot harm them when curled up. But they are helplessly at the mercy of humans, because once they have been rolled up, they only have to be picked up.

I desperately combed the internet, on the one hand to learn more about pangolins, on the other hand to understand their situation and thus also to understand what I can do myself to help the animals. Pangolins are fascinating small mammals that are covered in scales all over their body except for the belly. There are eight species, four each in Asia and four in Africa. The little animals walk on their hind legs and look like little dinosaurs. They dig up the earth with their front claws in order to get to termites and ants, which they lick up with their long and sticky tongues. In the wild, pangolins give birth to at most one young a year - the mothers then carry this around on their tails for a while.

While the many projects and aid organizations that are devoted to awareness-raising, protection, nurturing and reintroduction, scientific research and the implementation of the necessary laws to put an end to the suffering of pangolins - and other animals - I really like it give me hope, I came across a lot of sad and sobering information. No matter how much passion and heart and soul the people behind the aid organizations are committed, they are opposed by the sheer immense demand for pangolins. It is estimated that 1,000,000 pangolins have been poached in the past 10 years. A million animals. Most of the animals poached in Africa are destined for the Asian market. While their scales are said to have healing powers in traditional Chinese medicine, even though they consist only of keratin, like our fingernails, pangolin meat is traded as a delicacy, especially in China and Vietnam. All eight species of pangolin are threatened with extinction, three species are unfortunately already classified as critical and at the moment this also seems to be the fate towards which the other species are headed (

Nevertheless, each and every one of them can do something far away from the pangolins: Spread the word. Care. The more people learn about the fate of pangolins, the greater the likelihood that everyone will keep it in mind when doing their own engagement.

Be it on a trip to Vietnam or China, where you don't just pass by if you see them at one of the many wildlife markets or on a menu in a restaurant (which does not seem unusual: although the trade in pangolin is prohibited without exception, are they sold openly), or when supporting projects that address structural and social problems in Africa and Asia, or when trying to reach consumers in Asia (because: the poachers are not the source of the suffering - mostly they want only feed their families - but the demand).

This information was obtained from the websites of Photographers against Wildlife Crime ( and the Tikki Hywood Foundation ( as well as this beautiful video from Bayerischer Rundfunk ( removed. On the websites you can also find out more about pangolins and ways to help them.

1 In the group Photographers against Wildlife Crime World-renowned photographers have come together to show people all over the world the dimensions of the illegal wildlife trade in order to ultimately reach the consumers of animal products.

2 The Tikky Hywood Foundation is a wildlife sanctuary in Zimbabwe. Rescued animals are nursed up here and, if possible, released back into the wild in safe areas. In addition, the Foundation provides educational work, among other things, in schools and in authorities, and is actively involved in improving and changing legislation that is necessary as a basis for the successful work of conservationists.