Customs officers stand guard over 3.1 tons of seized pangolin scales at a port in Shanghai, 28 December 2016. It is estimated that up to 7,500 of the endangered creatures may have been killed. Photo: AFP

28 December 2016 (AFP) – Chinese customs seized over three tonnes of pangolin scales, state media said, in the country's biggest-ever smuggling case involving the animal parts.

Shanghai Customs found around 3.1 tonnes of pangolin scales mixed in with a container of wood products imported from Nigeria, state broadcaster CCTV reported Tuesday.

It estimated up to 7,500 of the creatures could have been killed.

The reclusive pangolin has become the most trafficked mammal on Earth due to soaring demand in Asia for their scales for traditional medicine and their flesh, considered a delicacy.

State media have previously said the scales fetch around 5,000 yuan ($700) per kilogram ($700) on the black market—which would make the seizure worth more than $2 million.

Although the international pangolin trade is illegal in China and they are listed as one of the most-protected wild animals, law enforcement remains weak. [more]

China in biggest-ever pangolin scale seizure: reports


  1. rpauli said...

    Oh drat... poetic justice may find these creatures well adapted to radical climate destabilization. I hope this news story gets carved onto a wall of a cavern.. only a few hundred years and we will know for sure.  


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