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Sunda Pangolin released in Nui Chua National Park, Vietnam

On 12th May 2015, Save Vietnam’s Wildlife in collaboration with the Ninh Phuoc Ranger Station, the Ninh Thuan Forest Department, and Nui Chua National Park, successfully released a Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica) into Nui Chua National Park. Joining in the release, was the family of Nguyen Thanh Canh, the kind citizen who found and voluntarily handed over the pangolin.

Pangolin released back to Nui Chua National Park, Ninh Thuan province - Photo: Lan Ho Thi Kim/SVW

On May 9, Nguyen Thanh Canh from the An Hai commune, Ninh Phuoc district, Ninh Thuan province witnessed a Sunda pangolin crossing the road near his village. Worrying that the pangolin might be caught and killed for its meat, Nguyen brought it home intending to report it to the authorities. Several local people approached Nguyen with offers to buy the pangolin, however his good conscience and care for wildlife saw him steadfastly refuse the offers. Using the internet, Nguyen was able to find contact information for to Save Vietnam’s Wildlife, who he then called for advice. To provide support, Ms Ho Thi Kim Lan from Save Vietnam’s Wildlife, then travelled over 1000 km to Ninh Thuan, making contact with the local authorities to coordinate the relase of the pangolin

The pangolin rescued and handed over by Mr Canh - Photo: Lan Ho Thi Kim/SVW

Mr Huynh Tien Dung, vice manager of Ninh Phuoc Ranger Station said: “This is the first time, in conjunction with the Forest Department of Ninh Thuan province, have received an endangered animal voluntarily from the local community.”

We will reward Nguyen and his family for their positive actions, as well encourage locals to get more involved in protecting wild animals,” Mr Dung added.

Nguyen Thanh Canh shared his memory of releasing the pangolin: “Together with my family, I witnessed the pangolin running into the forest. As it was moving away, it suddenly turned, running to us as if saying “Goodbye”, before turning back to the forest and disapearing. Nothing could be more wonderful than that sight! Surely, I and my family will continue to support wildlife, as well as call for others to act for wildlife, so that more and more pangolins and other wildlife are rescued and able to return to the forest.”

Mr Nguyen Van Thai, director of Save Vietnam’s Widlife said: “If there wasn’t a real and immediate threat posed to pangolins by illegal hunting, then Nguyen would not have needed to collect the wayward pangolin and bring it back to him home. The pressure from illegal hunting means there was a real danger than that pangolin may have ended up in the wrong hands, and it’s incredibly lucky that Canh found the animals. We hope that all of us will choose not to buy and consume pangolins. Let them be free in the wild!

Save Vietnam’s Wildlife is now planning for the release of over 40 recently rescued Sunda pangolins, animals which arrived at our rescue centre on the 9th of May 9. We’re just waiting for their quarantine and rehabilitating period to finish,” Thai added.

Organisations and individuals interested in supporting Save Vietnam’s Wildlife to rescue, rehabilitate and release pangolins into the wild, visit here. Report instances of illegally traded/captured wildlife to our hotline -  0978 331 441

More photos of this release activity, please see here.