Tomorrow, February 18th, is World Pangolin day. What is a Pangolin you ask?
Pangolins are found throughout Africa & Asia. They have a very particular diet of ants and termites –this makes it very difficult to take care of these animals in captivity.
These shy, fragile creatures are being poached at an alarming rate, for the same reasons as the rhino, but their plight gets little to no coverage in the media.
They are sold on the Asian black market primarily for human consumption but also for use in various Chinese medicines. There has nevr been any scientific proof that the medicinal uses of the pangolin actually work – yet the poaching continues.
TheTikki Hywood Trust, has been operationing in Zimbabwe since 1994 and has championed the cause of lesser known endangered species of animals, as well as worked tirelessly for the plight of all of Zimbabwe’s wildlife. At its inception, the Trust worked to bring recognition to endangered and specially protected animal species such as Cape Pangolin, Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest, Southern African Hedgehog and many others. As a result, successful breeding and release programs were established with respect to these species throughout Zimbabwe, as well as a main centre based in the country’s capital, Harare. During these early years of the Foundation’s work, hand rearing techniques and artificial milk formulas relevant to each species were developed for orphans that came to the facility, and rehabilitation and release was done wherever possible. However, as the socio-economic and political situation degraded in Zimbabwe, the emphasis of the Foundation became more and more a crisis management. Rescuing animals from persecution and relocating numbers of animals where possible to save them from decimation became a priority. Hand in hand with this however, came the realisation that the legislation in place was no longer an effective deterrent or protection for animal welfare, and so the Foundation undertook a campaign to improve this.
From small and species-specific beginnings, we are now expanding the scope of our work so that we can ensure the safe release of captive bred animals, ensure the protection of existing wildlife in situ through co-ordinated anti-poaching units, rehabilitate and release orphaned or injured wildlife and bring the Zimbabwean people back to a position of respect and pride in their greatest national heritage through awareness and education.
The Tikki Hywood Trust and the IAPF shares common goals in anti-poaching. They provide funding for equipment and training for units in Zimbabwe with the THW Trust focusing on the Eastern highlands of Zimbabwe. Lisa has been a staunch supporter of the IAPF since it’s inception with ongoing support and guidance.
For more information on the Tikki Hywood Trust head to www.tikkihywoodtrust.org