The Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital is celebrating their patient of the year; a Temminck’s ground pangolin that was saved and released!
Undisclosed Location, South Africa – Covered in tyre tracks and laying on the roadside, a tiny pangolin lay waiting to be saved. Dr Helena Rampf was driving along the same road when she saw the juvenile pangolin. She slammed on her brakes and ran over to pick the little creature up.
She could see he was far too small to be on his own and had obviously been hit by a vehicle. She picked him up, placed him in her car and drove to the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital, who specialises in caring for Temminck’s ground pangolins (Smutsia temminckii).
The vet took him to their rescue centre where they house and care for all rescued pangolins. All Temminck’s Ground Pangolins that are brought in to the hospital are kept offsite at an undisclosed location for the mammal and veterinarians safety!
The little pangolin was initially treated for dehydration, a problem faced by most rescued pangolins. It was thought the juvenile was left behind by poachers who had taken his mother. It was also thought it was the poachers who would have knocked the pangolin down. As a precaution, he was treated for a concussion and checked for neurological problems.
The pangolin was named Rampfy after Dr Rampf who rescued him. Since his rescue, he made leaps and bounds, great news for all that were watching his story. The veterinary hospital celebrated that Rampfy crept into their hearts and became their most memorable patient of 2019.
“He spent the first few months of his life in Hoedspruit, and when he was 4kg’s, he was transferred to us for specialist Temminck’s ground pangolin husbandry and care before his imminent release. He gained two kilograms while in our care, and he learnt to forage for ants through guided walks. During this time he was also weaned off his milk formula.
At this stage, we were confident that he was healthy and strong enough to survive in the wild. He was released in Zululand and is being closely monitored through the telemetry units attached to his scales.
It has been a few months since his release, and we are pleased to report that he is doing well, and is weighing well over 8kgs! Our sincere thanks go to everyone who contributed to his recovery and release.”
The veterinary hospital treats indigenous wildlife free of charge and hopes that in 2020, people will assist them in treating any pangolins that are rescued and rehabilitated. The rehabilitation is very costly so they are inviting people to become benefactors to their rescues. Anyone wanting to work with the vet to support this elusive species can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay tuned to their page for any updates about rescues this year.