Tot Pangolin
Photo Credit: Ashleigh Pienaar

Tot the pangolin pup is doing really well, and the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital celebrated her 100 days milestone yesterday.


Undisclosed Location, South Africa (24 December 2020) – We shared Tatya’s story on the 18th of December, and many of you asked for more information about her pup Tot. We have some incredible news to share about Tot and how she is progressing.

Tatya was rescued from poachers’ clutches on the 23rd of July 2020 by the SAPS and taken to the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital for treatment.

The veterinary hospital has become a leading expert in Pangolin medical treatment. With so many being found to have been trafficked, they have been forced to learn the best way to care for the fragile creatures.

The medical staff stresses the message that all pangolin patients are housed off-site at an undisclosed location to protect them and all the medical staff. Due to the animals being in high demand, they cannot risk anyone knowing where the animals are being treated.

Tatya was in a very fragile state when she arrived. She was found to be pregnant, which made treating her ailments harder. The utmost care is taken always to ensure that both mother and unborn pup survive.

“On her arrival (Tatya), we found her to severely dehydrated with abnormal lung sounds. She was also pregnant. Once stabilized, a CT scan was done, and interstitial pneumonia was diagnosed. As she was pregnant, we were limited in the treatment protocols that we could use to assist Tayta in fighting off the infection.

On 14 September, Tayta gave birth to a female pangolin pup! While we would have preferred for Tayta to give birth to her pup once released, Tayta was not well enough whatsoever for our specialist team to be happy for her release.

As Tayta was highly compromised, she was not looking after her pup and not producing enough milk to effectively care for her pup (affectionally called Tot). Thus a decision was made to separate the two, to ensure that we could effectively treat Tayta (up until this point our medical interventions had to be sensitive to her unborn pup), and keep Tot alive too. We were able to treat her pneumonia more aggressively than when she was pregnant, and we are delighted that after 120 days under our treatment, she was successfully released.”

Tot stayed in the wildlife vet’s care and is thriving. She is very food motivated and loves her milk. The team will soon introduce her to all the delicious creepy-crawlies that pangolins enjoy, and she will continue her growth spurts until she is big enough for a soft release.

Yesterday was a great day for the team; they celebrated Tot turning 100 days old. It is important to note that every day a pangolin thrives, its a good day! Often pangolins rescued from poachers suffer many underlying problems from the stress and don’t survive the ordeal.

“Tot the baby pangolin is 100 days old today! Since we originally introduced you to Tot, she has been receiving round the clock care and feeding with primary carer, and director, Nicci Wright. She has grown immensely and gained a significant amount of weight. It has been a joy to watch her personality develop, and we are incredibly thankful that she is doing so well.

Tot LOVES her special milk formula! As she grows, she needs an ever-increasing amount of nutrient-rich milk support. Even though she will begin to feast on a variety of ants and termites in the coming weeks, she will be relying on her milk formula for some time too.

#OneMeal costs R39. Feeding four times a day means it currently costs us R156 PER DAY to feed her! We would love it if you’d consider sponsoring Tots next meal.”

So if you need a last-minute gift for someone or want to gift Tot a few meals, you can do so using all the information below.

They have several ways that people can help. They accept donations via their website here or see their full wishlist here. An easy way to get involved is to also nominate them on your MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet rewards card; which you can do so here. Or direct bank transfer, see their banking details below, be sure to use Tot as your reference, so they know your donation is for her.

Johannesburg Wildlife NPC
FNB Cheque account
Account nr: 62658400264
Branch code: 255355
Swift code: FIRNZAJJ

Or via SnapScan:

Sources: 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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