Photo Credit: Ashleigh Pienaar

Giya the pangolin was rescued from wildlife traffickers and found to have terrible stress-induced ailments, thankfully he was given the very best treatment.


Undisclosed Location, South Africa (23 July 2020) – Yet another Pangolin has been saved from the clutches of an animal trafficker and taken to the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital’s incredible team.

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 stress the message that all pangolin patients are housed off-site at an undisclosed location for the protection of them as well as all the medical staff. Due to the animals being in high demand, they cannot risk anyone knowing where the animals are being treated.

The veterinary hospital shared some insight into how complicated the treatment of these poached pangolins can be. Their latest rescue, Giya has been one of those incredibly complicated cases but thankfully, he has made a good enough recovery to be soft released at a private reserve.

“So little is known about pangolins, and often this makes our treatment of them EXCEEDINGLY difficult. Giya has been no exception to this. Once pangolins arrive at our hospital, we often don’t know exactly what they have endured or for how long. We do know that they have been without food and water for days, sometimes weeks, and have often been exposed to some form of abuse, both mental and physical. All these combined factors lead to a large array of complications, most of them not obvious when looking from the outside only. By using many different diagnostic tools like radiographs, blood tests, faecal tests etc we can begin to form a picture of what exactly we have to treat.

Within our treatment protocol, CT scans (computed tomography scans) have become vital in order to know exactly what the internal organs look like – especially the lungs, as this seems to be the “shock organ” in pangolins. Giya has spent almost eight weeks in our care (kept at a secret location) and had been treated for a pleural effusion (fluid in the chest cavity), bronchopneumonia, ascites (an unusual accumulation of fluid in the abdomen) and malnutrition. We always suspected lung pathology but never to the extent that the CT scans have shown us. Now we have an extra diagnostic technique to enable us to diagnose and treat these animals appropriately. Almost 90% of pangolins presented at our hospital (post confiscation from poachers) suffer from some form of lung pathology – this can now be proven beyond doubt with the use of CT scans.

We could adapt our treatment protocol to Giya’s exact requirements and his lung pathology resolved to such a degree that he can now be released! He will be released in a private reserve where he will be constantly monitored, like he is now, to ensure that he is able to live freely. He is one of the lucky ones that has been saved from the illegal wildlife trade. We could not do this without your generous donations, and our partners, the African Pangolin Working Group, Pangolin K9 and Humane Society International – Africa.”

The Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital do incredible work but are always in need of public assistance! The Vet treats indigenous animals free of charge and relies solely on the donations.

They have several ways that people can help. They accept donations 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.

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

Sources: Facebook
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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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