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Tuesday, 19 September 2017 | MYT 12:00 AM

Pangolins facing extinction due to trafficking

KOTA KINABALU: Pangolins will become extinct if nothing is done to halt their killing.

Wildlife researcher Dr Benoit Goossens said an estimated 10,000 pangolins were slaughtered for the five tonnes of scales seized by the Customs Department at the Sepanggar port here last month.

Earlier, Customs officials seized another eight tonnes of pangolin scales at the Sepanggar port as well.

The scales had originated from Africa and were said to be bound for China when they were intercepted here.

Dr Goossens, the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) director, said the pangolin scale seizures is a disaster for the animal’s population.

“The pangolins are headed for extinction if nothing is done,” he said.

Dr Goossens added the situation in Sabah was no different, noting pangolins rarely appear in any camera traps set up by researchers.

Their exact numbers are not known as it is almost impossible to survey these animals in the wild.

“I cannot fathom why there is such a demand for the scales as they have no medicinal value.

“If you want to eat pangolin scales, you might as well chew on your fingernails,” he said.