A sanctuary in Liberia, west Africa is specialising in looking after pangolins.
Liberia is the most forested of any country in Africa, so it has a rich biodiversity that supports a huge range of animals. A quarter of of all mammal species in Africa can be found in Liberia, including three of the world’s eight species of pangolin.
Pangolins are the world’s only scaly skinned mammals. They can be found in parts of Africa and Asia and are one of the most endangered animals on our planet. They are illegally hunted and sold for their meat and scales which are ground up and used in Asian medicine. There is no science to prove it but some people believe the scales cure certain illnesses.
Release back to the wild
The sanctuary, called the Libassa Wildlife Sanctuary, takes in pangolins and cares for them until they can be released back in to the wild. Most of the pangolins brought to the sanctuary have been picked up from illegal traffickers. Although trafficking pangolins is illegal, in 2019 the WWF reported that a pangolin is caught illegally every three minutes.
The Libassa sanctuary looks after other species as well as the pangolins. Their main aim is to release animals back in to the wild.