Menina the baby pangolin fighting to survive has sadly left this world today but we refuse to let her life end here, she can be the symbol in fighting poachers.


It is not often that we share sad news here on Good Things Guy but Menina’s story bore its way into our hearts. We are devastated by the news of her passing and know the only way to make her life count now, is to create awareness for her species.

It is important to share Menina’s story, much like every other story of poaching, to help fight it. The Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital shared her story and kept everyone updated throughout her week-long battle. They released an update earlier today describing her fight.

“We’ve spent just over a week fighting for a baby pangolin that barely stood a chance due to the harsh circumstances that she was forced to endure after she was poached and held in the illegal wildlife trade.

After being severely compromised, this little pangolin didn’t have the strength to forage for food. Tube feeding regularly meant utilising light sedation frequently which in itself is also not ideal for her compromised system. We enlisted the specialist assistance from Fourways Vet Hospital to place a peg tube – making it easier for us to ensure she received an easily digestible food. This would give her the best chance at recovering her energy levels and allowing her body to recuperate from the neglect that she had endured.”

A poached pangolin often spends days, sometimes two weeks, without food or water. This places a massive strain on their systems that is often difficult to recover from. The goal for poachers is not to have a living creature though, they utilise the meat and scales, which is why they starve them for so long.

In Menina’s case, her carers gave guarded optimism about her recovery due to the nature of her compromised system.

“While initially we saw an improvement, this changed a day ago when her energy levels depleted once again. She was placed on a drip but succumbed to her compromised state, sadly.

The peg tube technique was a world first in the treatment of pangolins. This is a unique idea that we believe will be successful in the future and will save more compromised pangolins. It would have been successful this time, had this little pangolin not been so compromised to begin with.”

The Johannesburg Wildlife Vet staff have been deeply saddened by the outcome of this case. So have many of the people who have been following this story.

“Attempting to save a critically endangered species is incredibly taxing on our team – especially when we receive these elusive creatures on the brink of death. It’s even more difficult when they show signs of improvement that give us hope, which is quickly taken away when they take a turn for the worst. We’re so sorry that our attempts at a second chance of life couldn’t save you, Menina.”

The team have been extremely thankful for all the donations, love and support they received over the last week.

“Thank you for the outpour of donations and support, and for following her journey and our multiple attempts to save her.”

Want to do your part to save pangolins?

  • Don’t eat pangolins.
  • Don’t buy pangolin products: no pangolin medicine, no pangolin wine, no pangolin jewellery, no pangolin scales or leather.
  • Spread the word. Tell your friends and family about pangolins. In recent years, more people around the world have learned about pangolins and the threats to them. This has directly led to more support for policy reform, scientific research, and more conservation efforts. You can help by spreading the word about pangolins and how they’re in trouble.
  • Make a donation.
  • Report wildlife crime. If you see pangolins and other illegal wildlife in restaurants or other business establishments, contact your local authorities or one of the numbers below.

The Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital treats indigenous animals free of charge, relying solely on the donations and support of the community. Every effort makes a difference. Rest in peace little one, our hearts are with you and our fight for you shall continue.

Sources: Facebook | Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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