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Collaborating between Vietnamese rescue centers: New Hope for Pangolins

On September 15 2016, Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (SVW), Cuc Phuong National Park and Ha Noi Wildlife Rescue Center (WRC) successfully released 33 Sunda pangolins (Manis javanica) to an undisclosed secure site.

These lucky pangolins were rescued from the illegal wildlife trade in August 2016. Many come a large wildlife confiscation in Quang Ninh Province in which 255kg of living pangolins were rescued, transferred to WRC. After a month of care at Save Vietnam’s Wildlife and Ha Noi Wildlife Rescue Center, 33 healthy pangolins were sent back to the wild.

Pangolins getting fed before releasing

Thanks to the fast response from Quang Ninh Police, the rescued pangolins could be released back to the wild now. This is also the result of co-working between Quang Ninh Rangers and Education for Natute Vietnam (ENV).

According to Mr Ngo Ba Oanh, Director of WRC, the collaboration between SVW and WRC has worked well. ‘This successful release is the result of hard work by both WRC and SVW staff and we look forward to further successful releases in the future.’

Mr. Ngo Ba Oanh checking before release

Not just about rescuing and releasing

The collaboration between government run rescue centres, like WRC and non-government rescue centres like SVW at Cuc Phuong National Park signals new hope for the critically endangered pangolin; the most traded mammal in the world. Mr. Nguyen Van Thai, Director of SVW, ‘The sharing of skills and resources is a logical move for all those involved in rescuing these animals from the cruel illegal wildlife trade’.

SVW and WRC joined releasing a pangolin

A pangolin back to the wild

According to Mr. Luong Tat Hung, SVW’s Head Keeper, “Cooperating to exchange experiences and improve the standard of rescue facilities is critically important, as more and more pangolins are rescued recently. Pangolins are at serious risk of becoming extinct in our lifetime, so each pangolin needs to survive and be released back to the wild to boost wild populations.”

While managing surviving rate of pangolins is still a big challenge for rescue centers, SVW and WRC believe this successful joint release offers new hope for pangolins: a species facing extinction not only in Vietnam but also in the world.

(Note: Save Vietnam’s Wildlife does not disclose the locations of pangolins releases due to the risk of the animals being located and recaptured by poachers.)