Kumasi Zoo releases rescued ‘black bellied’ pangolin to nature
The Kumasi Zoological Gardens has rescued and released a fully grown male “black bellied” pangolin to nature, two days after the celebration of World Pangolin Day.
Pangolins are mammals that have a body covered with horny overlapping scales, a small head with an elongated snout, a long sticky tongue for catching ants and termites, and have a tapering tail.
The “black bellied” pangolin was rescued from a woman farmer who spotted the mammal whilst she was returning home from her farm near Atronie (a cocoa growing area) and was planning to use it for local delicacy.
Dr Meyir Ziekah, the Resident Veterinary Officer and Manager of the Kumasi Zoo told Ghana News Agency (GNA) that he had a call from a colleague friend who told him about the intention of a woman who wanted to use the animal for a local delicacy.
Quickly, he mobilized some people including some pangolin researchers to visit the community to rescue the animal.
He said, upon arrival at the Zoological Gardens after the rescue operations, the animal was medically examined, and the report revealed that it was healthy and fit to be released to nature.
He noted that pangolins were the most trafficked and endangered species in Ghana and gradually they would be heading towards extinction because they were in high demand mostly for traditional medicine.
Dr Ziekah indicated that it was time to take steps to protect pangolins by creating awareness in communities about the need to prevent the extinction of that species.
Mr Prince Pascal Abro, a Researcher at the Faculty of Renewable and Natural Resources and also the Director for Pangolin GH, unscored the need to protect the habitat of pangolins.
He said people mistook pangolins as harmful hence their first instinct was to kill them but that was not the case.
According to the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission (FC), the population of pangolins in Ghana was unknown, but the species was protected by law as well as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.