Daily Archives: January 23, 2008

Chinese police seize endangered pangolins from home

 Reuters

BEIJING, Jan 19 (Reuters) – A foul stench led Chinese police to a home where they found 16 protected pangolins in cages and plastic bags, and another 37 dead ones in the refrigerator, the Xinhua news agency said on Saturday.

The rescued pangolins, an endangered scaly ant eater sought for their skin and for use in Chinese medicine, ranged in size from the palm of a human hand to four kilograms, Xinhua said, citing the local Forest Police Station.

One bear paw was also found in the fridge in the house in southern China’s Guangdong Province.

Four suspects were arrested, Xinhua said.

The solitary and nocturnal pangolin is found only in Asia and Africa. Its meat is considered a delicacy for some, its scaly skin can be made into handbags and shoes, and its scales and blood are used in Chinese medicine to treat allergies and sexually transmitted disease.

All international trade in the animals was banned in 2000.

Earlier this month, two men in the southern city of Xiamen received suspended death sentances for smugging 17 containers of pangolin meat and scales worth 23 million yuan ($3.2 million) into China. ($1 = 7.242 Yuan) (Reporting by Lucy Hornby; Editing by David Fogarty)

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Snake-eat-snake: endangered pythons wipeout

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Endangered snakes reintroduced to a conservation zone near Roxby Downs in outback South Australia have been virtually wiped out in a short time.

Adelaide Zoo and the Arid Recovery Group introduced nine woma pythons into the area late last year.

John Read from Arid Recovery says only one of the womas is still alive – the others have been hunted and eaten by king brown snakes.

He says it was wrongly thought the woma pythons would prey on other snakes.

“So I guess in hindsight given that the king browns we get here are 1.5 getting on towards 2.5 metres in length, I guess it’s not surprising that they would take the occasional woma that is smaller than them,” he said.

Mr Read says the outcome is disappointing but not a total loss.

“This is one of the first times ever that captive bred snakes have been released in the wild and we weren’t sure whether snakes that had spent five years feeding on frozen white mice would know how to recognise how to hunt and eat wild food,” he said.

“Well at least four of our pythons definitely have done that.”

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