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Officials Can’t Believe What These People Were Smuggling Into The Country (Photos)

A mother pangolin and her baby were found curled up together in a ball in a box after authorities spent two weeks searching for the animals. They had been stolen from the Kafue National Park, the largest park and preserve in Zambia. Vets say they are expected to make a full recovery.

Pangolins are extremely rare animals in danger of extinction. They're mammals with an unusual feature: large scales cover their bodies. These scales have made the pangolin a target of poachers and traffickers. They're the most heavily trafficked wild mammal in the world, and their scales and meat fetch a pretty price on the Asian markets.

Just a few years ago, the illegal capture, killing and trade of pangolins reached epidemic proportions. An estimated 200,000 pangolins were killed between 2011 and 2013.

The two pangolins who were kidnapped were discovered clinging to each other and cowering from their captors. They were taken to the GRI Wildlife Crime Prevention Project, where they're getting medical care.

"From the poor condition of the mother and baby, it is thought that they had been in captivity for over two weeks," said David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation representative Vicky Flynn to 'The Dodo' website.

"They seem to be eating, which is a great sign," said veterinarian program employee Annekim Geerdes "They will be given a chance to rest and eat well again."

Pangolin usually like to keep out of sight. The nocturnal animals eat insects. Vets report they're learning to feel safe again under the care of the GRI.

"Once they are back to a good weight, they will be released into the National Park," Geerdes said.

Source: The Dodo
Photo: GRI Wildlife Vet Program

Poor little guys!

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