Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital shared some truly heartwarming news about a pangolin first for them; a rescue has given birth in the wild!
Limpopo, South Africa (08 September 2020) – A mature female Temminck’s pangolin rescued from poachers on the 25th of April 2020 has just become the first pangolin on record, to give birth after being treated by the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital. The rescue, rehabilitation and release were done in collaboration with African Pangolin Working Group (APWG).
She was retrieved in the Alldays region of Limpopo Province, South Africa and then transported to a Polokwane veterinarian. Dr Karin Lourens from the Johannesburg Wildlife Vet drove to assist with the stabilising and initial examination. They named her Ally.
During an abdominal ultrasound, it was discovered that Ally was pregnant! Pangolins suffer terribly from stress-induced symptoms when poached and the chances of her carrying her pregnancy to term was a concern for the team.
“Pangolins which have been poached are always compromised, some worse than others, and they require a period of veterinary treatment. Once ensconced at a secure location in Johannesburg, Ally could begin to recover both psychologically and physically from her trauma. It was important for her to recover as quickly and gently as possible to prevent her miscarrying her pup because of the high-stress levels she had endured.
Ally also had pneumonia but regular blood tests, CT scans and ultrasounds along with careful nursing ensured that she received the best care and her pup continued to develop normally. A few weeks later, Ally was feeding well, her lungs had cleared and she had gained enough weight to be placed into her release phase. She was transported to a release site carefully selected by the African Pangolin Working Group in the Limpopo Valley.
VHF and satellite telemetry tags were attached to her scales to enable the post-release monitoring – this is critical to ensure the animal’s well being and distribution. Ally eventually settled into an area with diverse ant species, found good burrows and relaxed into typical pangolin behaviour.”
She seemed to be bouncing back perfectly and was gearing up to have her pup. She started burrowing in the area and so the team at African Pangolin Working Group set up a camera to watch her progress. This meant they could monitor her pregnancy even further.
“In one of these recordings, the team saw that Ally had given birth and her pup was in the burrow! This is the first-ever record of one of our successfully retrieved and rehabilitated Temminck’s pangolins giving birth in the wild, after release. We are all thrilled to share this wonderful success story and wish our born free pangolin pup a safe, long and wild life!”
Take a look at the amazing (tear-jerking) moment below.
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
The African Pangolin Working Group works exclusively with pangolins and has been doing so since 2011. You can support them by nominating them as a beneficiary on your MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet rewards card or by direct bank transfer, see their banking details below. You can find out more about the cause here.
African Pangolin Working Group
Bank: First National Bank
Account Type: Cheque Account
Account Number: 62488232879
Branch Name: Gezina
Branch Code: 251545
SWIFT Code: FIRNZAJJ