These adorable scaly mammals may have originally been destined for the black market, but thanks to the Indonesian police force and community, they will now be going to a wildlife reserve instead.
101 live pangolins were seized from a pair of smugglers on a fishing boat headed for Malaysia earlier this week. Law enforcement learned of the nefarious mission from a tip-off given by the local citizens of Sumatra island.
If sold on the international market, the pangolins could have fetched as much as $1.5 million. Now, however, they are destined for the nearest national park, according to the Indonesian Navy.
If convicted, the two smugglers could face up to five years in prison and over $7,000 in fines.
Pangolins are considered to be the world’s most trafficked animal due to the high demand for their meat and scales. Hope is on the horizon, however – delegates at a U.N. wildlife convention last year voted to ban the trade of all eight species of Asian and African pangolins.
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Reprint (Photo by Zimbart, CC)