Monday, April 14, 2008

98 pangolins seized in raid

I hope this time they do not release the pangolins on an island. Several years ago, there was a case when a few hundred of pangolins were released onto Pulau Singa in Langkawi. Ants and termites colonies were limited and eventually many pangolins died. Beside, rare termites were destroyed too.

Monday April 14, 2008

PENANG: Ninety-eight pangolins were seized from a storehouse in Kampung Kubang Menerung, Kepala Batas early Monday.

State Operation Enforcement Unit Leader Khairul Nizam Yahaya said three people were arrested in the raid which followed two weeks of surveillance by State Wildlife and National Parks Department officers.

"All 98 pangolins have been found alive and appear to be in good condition and we believe they were meant to be smuggled out of the country," Khairul Nizam said.

He added that the department was unsure of which country the pangolins were destined for but estimated their value to be around RM50,000.

"Pangolins are quite popular as exotic food in outside countries and their scales are said to have medicinal values.

"If caught, pangolins can be sold to local suppliers for about RM130 a kilo," Khairul Nizam said, adding that suppliers could then fetch a much higher price selling the animals overseas.
Seven officers participated in the raid that occurred around 3am.

Khairul Nizam said the windscreen of the department's four-wheel drive was smashed after a man believed to be part of the smuggling syndicate, threw a large stone at the vehicle as it was exiting the village after the raid.

No one was injured in the attack and a police report had been lodged at the Bukit Mertajam police station.

The three men arrested have been released on bail.

Pangolins are a protected species under the Wild Life Act and possession of the animal carries a fine of not more than RM5,000 and/ or jail time of not more than three years.

All pangolins seized will be released into protected enclosures such as conservations centres, zoos and other suitable habitats, Khairul Nizam said.

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