Tags: pangolin | scale | seizure | china | largest

Pangolin Scale Seizure, 3 Tons, Is Largest Ever in China

Image: Pangolin Scale Seizure, 3 Tons, Is Largest Ever in China

Demand for pangolin meat, scales, and body parts is fueling a bloodbath and driving the secretive ant-eating mammals to near extinction. (Jekesai Njikizana/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 28 Dec 2016 02:31 PM

The seizure of more than 3 tons of pangolin scales by Chinese customs earlier this month is being called the country's biggest ever involving the scaled, ant-eating mammal.

Shanghai customs found around 3.4 tons of pangolin scales mixed in with a container full of wood products imported from Nigeria, CCTV reported Tuesday, according to AFP.

The pangolin scale shipment was seized on Dec. 10, the South China Morning Post reported. As many as 7,500 pangolins are suspected to have been killed to make the shipment possible.

Commercial trade of the pangolin was officially banned in September this year.

"The pangolin is about the size of a raccoon and looks like an artichoke with legs," NPR says. "Its head and body are covered with an armor of thorny scales, giving it the appearance of a reptile. When a pangolin is scared, it curls up into a tight ball."

Although pangolin scales are believed by some to cure diseases, the scales are made up of keratin, the same substance found in fingernails.

According to reports, three suspects arrested after the pangolin scale seizure allegedly had been smuggling the scales from Africa since 2015.

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The seizure of more than 3 tons of pangolin scales by Chinese customs earlier this month is being called the country's biggest ever involving the scaled, ant-eating mammal.
pangolin, scale, seizure, china, largest
194
2016-31-28
Wednesday, 28 Dec 2016 02:31 PM
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