Why is baby panga so important?
Pangolins disappeared from their natural habitats – southern China, Southeast Asia and Africa – because their unique scales and flesh were believed to have medicinal properties in those regions.
As a result, organizations that monitor the pet trade value it the least 200,000 pangolins They were caught and sold in 2019. Based on this data, the World Wildlife Foundation concluded that a pangolin is stolen every three minutes.
To save them from extinction, the first thing to say is that breeding pangolins in captivity is quite a challenge.
Firstly, because their diet is unusual, consisting of Drone larvae. They also need a very specific level of humidity and air temperature to thrive – which is crucial in the first few weeks of life.
Because of this, the zookeeper team at Prague Zoo struggled to keep the pangolin — known as the pointed cone — alive for the first few days. Named for its small stature and scaly exterior, it was born weighing just 135 grams.
Over the next week or so, Little Con began to lose weight rapidly. Her mother wasn’t producing enough milk to help her reach her full size – around 7kg.
Prague Zoo staff quizzed the Taiwanese experts on what to do next and received milk from a mother cat. Surprisingly enough, this was enough for Little Coon’s diet until the techniques for getting her mother to produce milk worked.
The little cone swings and has been living for about a month now.
What can Little Cone teach us about breeding rare species?
Lessons learned from keeping the Little Cone alive and healthy can inform the process of helping other endangered species survive—even if this risky endeavor must be undertaken outside of the animal’s typical territory.
If the habitats of rare species can be replicated in zoos or sanctuaries elsewhere in the world, the chance of increased populations and their eventual reintroduction into the wild as poaching regulations tighten could become a reality.
It would have been great if this was possible with animals that were tragically captured North African white rhino, for example, there are only two women left. The last remaining male died in 2018, leaving the only hope of keeping this species of rhino alive for future genealogy techniques.
I know that with all our human suffering, it may seem trivial to put saving rare and exotic species of animals at the top of our to-do list.
But members of posterity will no doubt condemn us for allowing such wonderful species to be wiped out from the planet when, in the least, this should not have been the case. attempt to intervene.
Certainly, overcoming the initial challenges of keeping rare species alive can provide information and confidence for similar future efforts. Call the Prague Zoo workers – oh, and Little Coon.
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