Onghaka! Mar-Apr 2011- another pangolin is rescued and released

('Onghaka' is oshi-owambo for 'pangolin') In the last days of March 2011 a young 'teenage' male pangolin was rescued near Windhoek by Liz Komen, founder of NARREC, the Namibia Animal Rehabilitation Research & Education Centre, which provides a special support service to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. For some time they have had experience in pangolin rehabilitation and a concern for the species, see e.g. her recent article 'Pangolins endangered by international trade'.

We are indebted to Liz who very kindly brought the animal (which at about 4.3kg and 43cm long was about half the size of the large male we found at the end of October 2010)a long distance to the Mundulea sanctuary for release. Using one of our latest Biotrack TW-3 RF tags described earlier in this blog, she tagged the animal with the assistance of Graham Higgs and Timotheus Andreas - see photos below. Fitting even a small RF tag on a pangolin without distressing the animal, restricting its activity or the way that its sharp scales slide over each other is not at all easy. Some small trims were made to one scale to attach the device, and to an adjacent scale. Further improvements e.g. with flatter bolt heads and a more robust casing will be tried next time.

(Photos in this blog post are courtesy of Liz Komen, Narrec. Note: Click on any image in the blog to enlarge it)

Despite the heavy rain and high vegetation cover, the pangolin named 'Kasupi' was successfully tagged released in the Reserve on March 29th, see below.


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