ZIMBABWE will today join the rest of the world in commemorating World Pangolin Day, which is aimed at raising awareness on the protection of the endangered species.
BY STAFF REPORTER
Pangolins are in danger of extinction because of massive illegal trafficking.
“There are eight species and they are only found in Africa and Asia – Zimbabwe being one of its natural habitats. The pangolin is on the Zimbabwe list of specially protected species. There is very strict legislation around trafficking any animal on the list and poachers can expect a minimum of nine years in jail,” Tikki Haywood Trust, the organisers of the event said.
“The pangolin is of important cultural significance in Zimbabwe. The fact that they are being poached at such a high rate in recent times is frightening. What is most disturbing is that our natural heritage is being killed to satisfy a foreign market.
“In Zimbabwe, pangolins were placed on the Specially Protected Species Schedule in 1975. This has not changed and under the current legislation, the pangolin plus eight other mammals are afforded higher legal protection in our country due to their cultural importance and rarity,” the trust said.
According to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority, it is illegal to remove pangolins from their natural habitat for whatever reason. The illegal killing and illegal possession of a pangolin carries a mandatory nine-year sentence.