On Friday a 35-year-old suspect was arrested in Lephalale for the alleged possession of a live pangolin, which is an endangered species.
According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), pangolins are one of the world’s most trafficked animals in Asian and African countries due to the high demand from China and Vietnam. They are popular for their scales which is used in traditional medicine and for their meat, which is considered a delicacy. While there are many global laws to protect the eight pangolin species, the illicit trade has intensified.
Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo says the SAPS received a tip-off that a live pangolin was being sold in the Sweetwater area. Members of the Endangered Species Unit proceeded to the area where they arrested the suspect and confiscated the pangolin.
The suspect is expected to appear in the Phalala Magistrate’s Court on Monday 15 June.