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Sixteen Sunda Pangolins released back into the wild

The Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program (CPCP), a collaboration between Save Vietnam's Wildlife (SVW) and Cuc Phuong National Park has released 16 Sunda Pangolins on Wednesday, the 17th of February in a safe and undisclosed location in Vietnam. The critically endangered pangolins were rescued from the wildlife trade and rehabilitated at SVW/CPCP in Cuc Phuong National Park, Ninh Binh Province. The release occurred in the lead up to World Pangolin Day.

Executive Director of Save Vietnam’s Wildlife, Mr Thai Van Nguyen said, “Unfortunately pangolins are rapidly disappearing from the forests due to the wildlife trade and habitat loss. By releasing these Sunda pangolins back into the wild we are boosting wildlife populations and are helping the conservation efforts in Vietnam”.

Executive Director of Save Vietnam's Wildlife, Thai Van Nguyen, checks a pangolin before the long journey to release - Photo: Save Vietnam's Wildlife

The released pangolins were confiscated by Forest Protection Department officers in Nghe An, Ha Nam and Thanh Hoa provinces between August and December 2015 in a traumatised and poor state and transferred to CPCP. After a period of nursing and care they were eventually deemed to be healthy enough to be returned to the wild. Two of the released pangolins were a mother and child that had been rescued together and have now been returned to the wild.

A critically endangered Sunda Pangolin returns to the forest - Photo: Save Vietnam's Wildlife

Luong Tat Hung, Head Keeper of the CPCP stated, “The release was a great success. It is wonderful to see pangolins that we have rescued and cared for finally back in their forest homes.”

Head Keeper, Luong Tat Hung, releases a pangolin in an undisclosed but safe location - Photo: Save Vietnam's Wildlife

Pangolins are the most traded animals in the world. Vietnam has two species (Sunda Pangolin and Chinese Pangolin) and both species are critically endangered, which means both are in imminent threat of becoming extinct in the wild.  This latest release will bring to a total of 75 Sunda Pangolins released by Save Vietnam’s Wildlife in the last 8 months.

The release team from CPCP and SVW and 16 Sunda Pangolins in their transit boxes before the long journey to freedom - Photo: Save Vietnam's Wildlife

(*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. We request that all media do not release ANY information regarding the location of pangolins releases)