In the name
of medicinal value—that is, his health is all important—man becomes insensitive
to brutality and cruelty inflicted on animals despite laws to protect the
tons, or about 4,000, descaled and disemboweled pangolins were discovered in a
cargo container at Taiwan's Kaohsiung’s Pier 66, last week.
Times reports that the original shipping company failed to return a shipping
container to its original address, saying that the recipient refused to accept
the shipment. Customs then inspected the container and found frozen sardines, a
suspected cover for the pangolins found in the rear of the container.
container was shipped from Malaysia to Kaohsiung on December 27 last year.
A local customs officer said officials suspect
the group behind the trafficking knew the pangolins would be found and hoped to
swap the contents of the container while it was still in the harbor. However,
it is believed that the group was unable to find a good opportunity to make the
swap and decided to return the container before making another attempt to
smuggle in the pangolins.
likely only the transshipment point because of the large number of pangolins
found. The plan was probably to transfer the cargo to another ship intended for
other nations, probably China or Vietnam.
the U.S. were the two countries most commonly involved (i.e. having the highest
number of incidents regardless of the quantity involved in each incident).
China was the main destination of large-quantity shipments of scales and whole
pangolins, while the U.S. was the main destination for large-quantity shipments
of body parts. The quantities entering the U.S. were, however, not comparable
to the massive shipments trafficked through Africa and Asia.
the world’s most trafficked mammal, all eight (four Asian and four African)
species of pangolins are prohibited from international trade under CITES.
Pangolins are being sold for about $68.41 per
pangolins are used in traditional medicine in China, it is said. In fact, the
whole animal itself is eaten. Fresh scales are never used but dried scales are
roasted, ashed, cooked in oil, butter, vinegar, boy’s urine and so on to cure
different kinds of ills like excessive nervousness, hysterical crying in
children, women possessed by devils and ogres, malarial fever and deafness.
researcher once said, Pangolins -- two species of which are endangered and all of
which are protected by international treaty -- are trafficked by the thousands for
their scales, which are boiled off their bodies for use in traditional
medicine; for their meat, which is a high-end delicacy here and in China; and
for their blood, which is seen as a healing tonic.